Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013 | Fragrance and Skincare

Although I've previously reflected on my big a%$ beauty favorites since last January--from complexion enhancers, body sudsers, and cuticle unloaders--I can't help but discern that this year was the year of the skincare overhaul. And this is where our last tale begins....


BEST MAKEUP REMOVER. From the famous Bioderma to the UK-loved (it's part of my secret plan to become British) Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, the best makeup dethroner is the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. Although the the previous were good, since I'm a waterproof mascara lover, nothing gets my lash tint off like this creamy balm.

BEST CLEANSER. I've gone through four bottles of the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, and I'm just as happy with it now as I was when I pumped the first jolt. Just like the title suggests, it's creamy, clarifying, and calming--bingo.

BEST TONER. Not only have I discovered my favorite cleanser, but I've also gone through the lot of exfoliating toners, yet my favorite one is the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion. If I'm honest, they all seem to have the same results, but the Aveda one seems too harsh and the Clarins one is too expensive. REN it is.

BEST AM MOISTURIZER. Although I've deviated from the Origins Vitazing Moisturizer, it still holds a special place in my heart. Not only does it deliver the perfect dose of moisture, but also the perfect dose of tint for no-makeup days or pale jours--which, for me, is everyday.

BEST PM MOISTURIZER. Rose hip seed oil, hear my praises. I've blasted through the Aura Cacia Rose Hip Seed Oil and I can't help but admit that it's seriously good stuff. But I'm on a Pai counterpart at the moment, and I can't help but admit that I'm seeing the same amazing results (and more--but additional info on that later).

BEST SERUM. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair--an all-rounder serum that should mend your skin woe (whatever it is). Again, it doesn't quite coincide with my clean beauty philosophy, but we'll have to make an exception.

BEST SUNSCREEN. Cheap, cheerful, and it gets the job done; this is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 Dry Touch Sunscreen. Whether you're as white as a ghost or as sun kissed as a Brazilian, there will be a factor for you--from over a hundred to mere five.

BEST EYE CREAM. I'm not (yet) on the quest for the upmost anti-aging, crow's feet ridding eye cream, I've only got puffiness. And the only eye cream I've found this year that mends my tired and puffy peepers is the Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On.

BEST FACE MASK. I've tried my share of detox masks, but who needs three? Well, we all do. The über detoxifying, mid-stripping, and all-rounder. Nevertheless, my favorite all year has been the Aesop Parsley Seed Deep Cleansing Mask. Hubba, hubba. Spot ridding, and just detoxifying enough to clear pores, but not bring any nasty spots to the surface.

BEST SPOT TREATMENT. I haven't quite laid my heart on a super drier in the pimple department, but I can vouch for the cyst-spot-busting powers of the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion.


BEST PERFUME. The TokyoMilk Dark Chance 18 Rollerball* was a new arrival at 'Parisian To Be,'
but I can't help but admit that this is my favorite perfume. Earthy yet sophisticated; intoxicating yet subtle.

BEST CANDLE. So, I've drastically increased my candle stocks this year, but only because my parents finally agreed to let me burn candles in my room. Score. Perhaps it's only because it's the largest, but the Capri Blue Hibiscus and Teakwood Candle is my most-burned. Warm, slightly floral, a hint of sweetness, and basically gorgeous--does it push to say it's brother-approved?

It's the end of my 2013 favorites and the end of 2013. Although I'm shedding a tear as we speak (just one), I can't thank you enough for your support in this beauty niche. I'm ecstatic to see what the big fourteen holds for 'Parisian To Be.'
So, while I can mutter it, happy New Year, and I'll see you next year *wink, wink*.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best of 2013 | Nails, Hair, and Body

Two posts in a row?!? Oui, indeed--this is the outcome of winter break. 
I'm back with the second installment of the 'Best of 2013' raid as I debrief my nail, hair, and body favorites from the year.


BEST TOP COAT. Seche Vite rules. Although I'm beginning to venture into more clean beauty (and the 'warnings' list that comes with this baby certainly goes against my growing philosophy), I really can't fault the stuff. Consider this your bottle for a glass-like finish, quick-drying sweep, and all-around good product

BEST BASE COAT. Note that I've tried the community-famous OPI Nail Envy, but, man, does that stuff do nothing. Whilst my nails were in breaking, peeling, and mishap mess, the Nailtiques Formula 2 strengthened my talons, but also made them look perfected; and I can't help but sneak in a layer whenever I paint my nails.

BEST SHEER. Okay, okay--this is a total cheat--but I'm including two picks here. First, Essie's Mademoiselle is my truely French love with it's barely there tint and chic finish. Then, there's OPI Samoan Sand. Again, barely there, but with a slightly more opaque color that can't help but be described as the 'c' word.

BEST COLOR. butter LONDON's La Moss* is a relatively new find, but, even so, I've worn this darkened shade more than any other pigmented nail paint in my stash.

BEST CUTICLE PRODUCT AND TOOL. Speak of a winning duo: the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength and the Tweezerman Push and Nail Cleaner*. The cuticle remover lives up to the title and cleans up the nail bed for a polished aesthetic or manicure starting line; but, it's effectiveness halts without the Tweezer man tool. Splurge on the tools, people.

BEST CUTICLE MOISTURIZER. I've attempted to venture into experimental territory, but I can't mask my love for the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme (and I got a new tub for Christmas; thanks, Mom).


BEST SHAMPOO. Sunday's are my favorite day of the week, but not only (but mostly) because I can squirt and massage the Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo into my locks. A ginger, herbal, and fresh aroma is complimented by über shiny, clean, and balanced locks.

BEST CONDITIONER. Bumble and bumble's Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner imparts beachy, texturized, and slightly wavy locks--just how I like them, and a feat for my genetically stick-straight composition.

BEST STYLING PRODUCT. Can you tell I like the salt spray aesthetic? Then it won't surprise you that the Bumble and bumble Surf Spray is my favorite styling product. I've tried other sprays of the variety, but nothing can compete. And I love Bumble and bumble, too.


BEST BODY WASH. In my book shower, the Korres Shower Gels reign supreme. I've sudsed my way through Guava, currently Vanilla and Cinnamon, and Fig is waiting in the line up. A non-stripping formula (that happens to have some natural make up), and don't even get me started on the scents.

BEST HAND CREAM. The Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream*--French, luxe smelling, and an amazing formula. There's not much else to ask for.

BEST BATH PRODUCT. The apex has come where I mention the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. A wicked brush cleanser, sink detox-er, balancing hand wash, and, most importantly,  bath accompaniment. Whatever variety of scent you choose, your water will smell delicious and the oil-based formula add some suds and a milky texture. My favorite is the Almond scent, but the Lavender and Peppermint are nice too. If I mentioned all the uses, we'd be here all night.

Two down, one to go. At least, be decent and don't get too excited until I've left. Okay, fine--shout a 'yipee' and we'll celebrate the new year together.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Best of 2013 | Makeup and Tools

When I reminisce about this past year on 'Parisian To Be,' my heart can't help but beat a little faster. Without getting too emotional, this blog has grown so much over the past three hundred and sixty five days, it nearly stuns me when I begin to envision what the new year has to hold--but we're not quite there yet.
I'm hitting you with my 'Best of 2013' favorites, a topic I've been mulling and anticipating since January first. I've spent too much some money and discovered my favorites, exercised restraint, then threw all caution to the wind. So, despite the fact that good ol' Mr. Clause has made his way back to the North Pole until next year, the series and festivities are just beginning here--starting with makeup and tools.


BEST PRIMER. I wasn't quite a primer obsessive until the second half of the year when I discovered the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*. In truth, I only began to get tactile with it in September, but I've used it every. day. since; hell, I've even compared it to other primers, but it still reigns on top.

BEST BASE. Out of every tinted moisturizer, alphabet cream, and skin-covering tube or pot sitting in my makeup stash, I've adored the Dr. Jart Waterfuse BB Cream the most out of anything else. It boasts a light coverage, but with massive imperfection covering powers without it looking too heavy. Dreamy--that's all.

BEST CONCEALER. I only revealed my love for the MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer recently, but it's without a doubt the most loved. It's waterproof formula certainly doesn't replication a false-advertising hoax, but, above all else, it covers like no other, has wicked staying power, and (with careful application) never looks too heavy on the skin.

BEST POWDER. Just like my primer tale, I never really used powder before this year--or until I discovered this wonder: the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. I loved my dewy and radiant ways, but didn't like my oily sheen; well, this fixes all that. It blurs imperfections, enhances the radiance, yet yields off oil throughout the day.

BEST BRONZER/CONTOUR. This is where things get tricky; I've got one love for each category. Equal parts of my heart go to both NARS Laguna and the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder, but if the 'hitting pan' signal speaks for my love for one more than the other, then you should add the NARS Laguna Bronzer to your shopping lists...now.

BEST BLUSH. I've exponentially increased my flush-enhancing stash this year (they are my favorite things to buy), but I've been sweeping the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Peach Whisper on my apples more than any other formula. The über peachy tint--as the name suggests--doesn't hit the 'whoa' factor for naturally flush-happy gals, already, but adds a hint of something to add life to the face.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER. Unfortunately, my favorite this year has been the Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold, but I thought I'd spare you the tears of its discontinued ways and name the RMS Living Luminizer as the title. I know, I know--I've just started to delve into the thing, but the white and subtle sheen strikes my complexion in the most flattering of ways and the formula is free of nasties (this, that, and the other thing). It's. gorgeous.

BEST EYESHADOW. I've just gotten into my eye-shaded ways, but the majority of the year was spent sweeping the Wet 'n Wild Comfort Zone Palette onto my peepers; and the rosey hue on the left is by far the most stunning.

BEST EYELINER. As opposed to the usual smokey liner ways, I discovered the allure of the outer-half lash line smudge and it's added definition to my already quite elongated eyes. And the product that takes all the credit? The Rimmel ScandalEyes Liner in Brown--a natural, 'not too harsh' shade (that even has a hint of bronze shimmer thrown in).

BEST MASCARA. I'm not particularly finicky when it comes to mascara, but my favorite is the Maybelline Full 'N Soft Waterproof number. It holds a curl, adds the perfect combination of volume and length, and never fails to look absolutely smashing.

BEST BROW PRODUCT. The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. That's all. It looks amazingly natural and adds some much-enhancing length to those visage caterpillars I always speak of.

BEST LIP BALM. I've deviated from the tub at the moment, but I'm still in love with the Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm. A honey and orange scented, creamy, and moisturizing formula that is thick enough to be felt eight hours later and keeps my lips moisturized 'til evening. And it doesn't hurt that it's French, either.

BEST LIP GLOSS. I'm not a lipstick, lip crayon, or tinted lip balm gal; I only love lip gloss. And my favorite is the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer. With the texture of a balm, a gorgeous sheen, and slight pink and natural tint...can you find something to fault?


BEST TWEEZERS. Forget those cheap Revlon pairs and the budget buys--go big or go home. And when I say big, I'm speaking of price, because the Tweezerman Mini Slanted Tweezers and relatively small considering their powerful and easily plucking ways.

BEST BRUSH. I rarely speak of makeup brushes on here, but I'm not quite happy with my standings at the moment--but I'll give you a shout once I am. As I examine my stocks and ponder my favorite brush e v e r, there's no doubt that it's the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Unfortunately, to get these bristles and this handle, you'll have to buy the whole set, but the rest of it is equally amazing. Nevertheless, the synthetic and dense bristles blend any base effortlessly and gives you the appearance of an air-brushed and perfected complexion.

BEST LASH  CURLERS. The same story remains for these crimpers as the tweezer ballade--splash out on the Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers or have non-curled lashes. Granted, these are the only high-end option I've tried, but they smash the drugstore competition. Hello, doe-eyed luxury.

Standby, standby--grab some sustenance, blankets, and hot cocoa, because the 2013 rave train has just begun. Oh; and get those wishlists, too.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Post Holiday Sales Edit

Whether your Christmas list wasn't fully checked off, you're in a spendy mood, or you're lusting to expel some pending moolah from your bank account, the beauty shops and stops have your back in the form of post-holiday sales.
You won't find too grand a selection on US sourced sites, but our friends across the pond sure have it made. But that's not all. Consider the fact that loads of UK-based beauty websites contend free worldwide shipping, and you better dig out that wallet.

LOOK FANTASTIC. Consider this your one-stop-shop for the most discounted array; the whole Redken and Kérastase ranges, Korres, Sai Sei, Bourjois and others sit ready for the 'add to cart' click. And, there's more--Look Fantastic is delivering a holiday gift for all with an additional 12% off with the code MERRYXMAS12.

Sai Sei Mineral Relax Bath Milk, Sai Sei Mineral Body Cream, REN Mini Rose Gift, Bourjois Creme Blush in Nude Velvet 01, Kérastase Nectar Thermique, Life NK Ultimate Unwide Body Lotion, Balance Me Rose Otto Collection, Melvita Rose Nectar Fresh Moisture Body Milk.

FEEL UNIQUE. The destination discounts both luxe and more affordable brands, along with the classic 'only available in the UK' denizens. YSL, Aromatherapy Associates, The Konjac Sponge Company and Korres (I just love this brand so darn much) perch.

Korres Vanilla, Freesia & Lychee Eau De Toilette Spray, Korres Vanilla Plum Body Milk, Aromatherapy Associates Festive Bath & shower Collection, Aromatherapy Associates Little Bell, The Konjac Sponge.

BEAUTY BAY. Brands such as Pai Skincare and This Works run on discount, as well as additional Aromatherapy Associates products (distinctively, the ones in the year-round range).

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Talk, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, Aromatherapy Associates Essentials Set, S5 Skincare.

NATURISIMO. Naturisimo stocks organic and natural products that embody the essence of 'clean' beauty. Discounted brands such as Burt's Bees, Caudalie, Dr. Hauschka. Balance Me, Jurlique, Eos, Trilogy, and more This Works products have been added to my cart.

Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil, Trilogy Rosapene Day & Night Collection, This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less Christmas, This Works Beauty Ball with Sleep Balm, Melvita Nectar Bright UV Shield Sunscreen SPF 15, Melvita Moisture Replenishing Night Nectar, Burt's Bees Pampered Body Collection, Dr. Hauschka Simply Roses Gift Set.

So, dig out your wallets, people--because these smack bigger deals in the cash and exaltations than Black Friday. Only, how will I justify this parcel to my parents?....

Goodbye Christmas

As I pen my fingers to my keyboard to write this post, I can't help but be surrounded by an air of disdain. Christmas has passed; and I'm certainly the type to begin counting down the big day starting three hundred and sixty five days in advance.

I'm definitely not into these 'What I Got For Christmas' posts, as I'm a genuine believer that Christmas is not about the gifts at all--but, then, I also must admit that I'm as nosey as it gets and I can't help but sneak a peak into other peoples' stockings.
Nevertheless, let's be honest, and admit that the greatest fun of Christmas isn't about the gift that's inside, but more about the unwrapping with your family near, the fire blazing, and A Charlie Brown Christmas humming softly in the background.

This year, I unwrapped certain beauty reading material, some delicious chocolate (that happens to benefit a great cause--now that's guilt-free), my favorite almond butter, a particular Giorgio Armani foundation, my favorite shower gel, a replacement of my much loved type of skincare oil, and many other far-too-generous gifts.

Truth be told, there will be a new beauty front coming for you all in twenty fourteen--but first, let's reign in the New Year.
I hope your holiday was as cheer-filled and lovely as mine.

xo Lillian

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

 So, the big day has arrived; and here's to joyful wishes that your holiday is as good as mine has been (thus far). Merry Christmas, too all--and to all a good night.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Pre-Christmas Pamper

The twenty-third of December. We've only got two more coves left in our advent calendars (whether they be chocolate or nail polish), the home stretch for gift-buying has begun, and I'm already anticipating the after-Christmas sales--it's a good thing I've been saving my money since August.
Nevertheless, I won't meet you again until the big day. Whether that initiates a tear or a giddy 'yippee', I'm filling the void with a plethora of holiday themed posts to indulge your senses.

Since tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'll be dining and guzzling drinking with all my family near, I'll be capping off the evening with a pre-Christmas pamper (that I've been undoubtably planning since...July).

What's a pamper without a bath? And this is no ordinary bath; I'll be pimping my tub with the LUSH Butterball Bath Bomb. I've been tortured since mid-July when I purchased it to throw it in on bad days and rainy nights, but, no no no, I just couldn't--I saved it for this day. It brims with cocoa butter for moisturized limbs and a vanilla sniff that ought to go well with the Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle. A plum, musk, milk, and undeniably sexy and warm scent that will warm me up despite the frigid temps outside my window. Once I've been soaking, I'll wash up with the Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Shower Gel--another seasonal and dreamy scent (sensing a theme?)--and then scrub away with a homemade body scrub concocted with coffee beans, coconut oil, olive oil, cinnamon, and cloves. Once I've popped up the drain, I'll spritz and moisturize my limbs even more with the Caudalie Divine Oil; now that's luxe.

Alas, it's time to wash my mop--and with what other shampoo than the Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo. The name practically suggests it's made for pampering with a deep-cleansing formula that won't transform your locks into the Sahara Desert (because the rest of our bodies are already there), but imparts a wicked shine. Then, I'll moisturize my damp hair with the Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil for some end nourishment.

Once I'm packed into my pajamas, I'll get to work on my complexion. The basic routine stands with a double cleanse from the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser, tone with the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant, and treatment with the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Nevertheless, I'll slap the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask right after cleansing for a pore-cleansing, nourishing, and spot diminishing power. Although it's the most gentle of my masks, it doesn't bring up the gunk into spots the next day--and no one wants a spotty face when family is around. Then, to finish, I'll slap on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask for some seriously plump dermis.
Then--hold the mistletoe--we can't ignore the lips. A quick slough with the LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub, then injection of moisture with the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm will make those puckers baby smooth (for either kissing or matte red lip duties).

Last, but not least, it's time for a nail painting session; and you can't paint them this time of year without a festive touch. First, I cleanse and clean my talons into tip top shape with the Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength and the Tweezerman Pusher and Nail Cleaner*. Then, I sandwich color between layers of the Nailtiques Formula 2 base coat and the Seche Vite Top Coat. As for the color, I'll be brushing the butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in La Moss--perhaps the prettiest red, plum, and wine shade I've ever seen. Then, things get really festive, as I'll be adding a single glitter dot to the bottoms of my nails. The only problem? I can't decide which glitter. At the moment, it's a toss up between the Essie Glitter in Hors D'oeuvres or the Ciaté Caviar Pearls in Metallic Gold (a gain from that gorgeous advent calendar). Whichever one I choose, it will surely look festive  chic.

With a blow of the candle, the lights are out and 'Santa Clause is coming to town.' Until next time, 'Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.'

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December Favorites

The twelfth of all twelve favorites is coming to you early (because we have to save room for those 'Best of 2013' posts), but I'm sure that these are the crème de la crème that I've been reaching for this month.

Despite the fact that I'm fireplace-less in my little box of a room, things have been kept very warm with the thanks of a bed comprised of a sheet, two blankets, and a duvet and, also, the Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle--a slight plum-like sweetness with a musky and warm finish. And it somehow manages to smell creamy--just don't ask, just buy.

On the makeup front, I've indulged in a MAC palette, and (hubba hubba) is it good. My favorites thus far have been Patina and Quarry. Patina rocks a golden, bronze, and taupe shade whilst Quarry shadows a slightly plum-toned grey/brown; perfect for crease work.
Then, here comes the cheek favorites--both from brand RMS Beauty. As I learn more about natural, raw, and clean beauty, I can't help but praise these impeccable formulas with 'good for skin' benefits. The RMS Living Luminizer and RMS Lip2Cheek in Muse* are the pair I've been digging into application by application. The highlighter spreads a bit of shimmery white sheen on cheekbones, inner corners, and brow bones (spread just like Christmas cheer), and the Lip2Cheek glides a pink/plum/peach tint that maintains a dewy finish and a natural flush. Just one more thing: keep me off their website.

While my skin has been drinking up those dreamy formulas in my cheeky products, I've also amped up the quench on the skincare front. My makeup remover and morning cleanser step has been held by the (one, the only) Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Quelle suprise--it's that hyped up stuff from across the pond that has just happened to land in my homeland. The scent evokes a full spa-esque experience and the creamy formula dissolves makeup and cleanses skin to balance the kinks.
The other cleansing step I've been indulging in is the Eve Lom Rescue Mask*. I place it in between the Aesop mask and the Origins Clear Improvements with it's detox, but not too drying qualities.

But I must always follow with an extra step of hydration. Whether it be for my skin, nails, or hair, there is one oil I've been grabbing--the Josie Maran 100 Percent Argan Oil. Although I've decided my skin resides more favorably with a rose hip seed blend, this one is perfect for the rest. My favorites usage this month signals a drop or two blended between my hands, then applied to wet hair post-shower in the place of conditioner.

Some delves into all-natural beauty, an few do-it-all numbers, and some seriously gorgeous pigments. Can I top this? *Dusts off 'Best of 2013 Favorites' page*

Friday, December 20, 2013

Daily Makeup | Friday

Open those drawers, people--get your party clothes ready--because it's basically the weekend. Perhaps I jumped a little too ahead of myself, but let's get through today first (then we can grasp the animal in us).

This is the last post in my week-long 'Daily Makeup' series--an opportunity to demonstrate how when I get in a slap rut, I really get into a rut. So, I'll make this (slightly altered) variation of Wednesday's face snappy (because I don't want to bore you again).

Just the usual base contenders: Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer* and the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint. Nevertheless, we have a different concealer pick--the MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer. You know I adore this stuff just as much as the Origins counterpart, I just decided to switch it up.

Then, I dipped my brush into the standard Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and the Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera (hubba hubba).
Mascara? The same L'oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof, but, for my lids, I dipped my 217 into the Scuplting Powder. Weird? Non, just a natural crease definition grand slam.

I can't help but apologize for the boring post that this sentence concludes, but, hey, consider it the calm before that (party) storm in t-minus eight hours. Bam.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday | Daily Makeup

So, wednesday has rolled onto our agendas (whoo hoo)--half way through the week, seven days until that holiday that seems to be looming over our heads. As I continue my host of 'Daily Makeup' posts, documenting the host of slap that seems to be covering enhancing my visage, it's time to take another days worth of products.

Alas, here's what I grabbed this morning.
I started with a layer of the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer* (quelle surprise), then followed by the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint--oh, that tube again. After yesterday's application, I realized how darn amazing it is. Although it goes against my usual dewy and radiant preferences, it imparts the most natural, 'no-makeup makeup' appearance out of anything in my stash. For the concealing part, I just dapped on a bit of the Origins Plantscription Anti Aging Concealer all over hither and tither.

Then, just the usual cheek product--the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (add it to your Christmas lists), followed by a sweep of NARS Deep Throat.
Alas, the usual curl and mascara routine continues with a the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers and the L'oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara, yet I complimented the soon to be trio with MAC Patina in the crease.

Phew, that's my wednesday face, done. Now, let's just get over the hump.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday | Daily Makeup

This week, I'll be interrupting our usual variety of hair, skincare, body, nail, and fragrance posts for a deserved topic--makeup. Whether you've come to my beauty diary in search for some application know-how, daily inspiration, or a lot a few new items to add to your growing wishlist, this is the place. But, who's tired of visualizing millions of random products among universal beauty pages? Me too. And that's why, this week, I'll be delivering a near live feed of my daily slap so you can see what and how much really goes into creating this countenance.

So, it's monday...booo; and I was in search of a quick slap because (in honesty) I hit the snooze button too many times.
Multitasking wonder Origins Vitazing Moisturizer delivers a tint, glow, and moisture dosage to the complexion, while the Origins Plantscription Anti Aging Concealer hides those pesky imperfections. An Origins-centric base, non?

Then, a swipe of the RMS Living Luminizer across the cheekbones, under the brow, and through the inner corner add some additional healthy sheen and the Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine adds yet another dose of hydration with a nude pink tint. Alas, you know I couldn't leave without mascara on, so a curl with the good ol' Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers and a layer of the L'oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara.

And that's me done. Phew--Monday, come at me.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Embracing My Party Animal | The Makeup

Kind, smiley, controlling, and judgmental--four words that I would assign to my ego. Party animal? Are you there? That's what I thought.
Unfortunately, the day has come where I commit that my grandmother is more of a party animal than me.

I love my cozy nights in bed with movies, hot cocoa, and candles. Nevertheless, last night was different. I wiggled into my party dress, trumped around in some pumps, and applied more makeup to my countenance than I knew was possible. And the latter is what we are going to talk about today (because I know you're not interested in anything else).

Parties--an excuse for us girls to load on the foundation, clump on the mascara, and basically pour pots of pigment on our eyes because, first, it will be dark (and it's not like anyone will even be able to see my gauze-shaded limbs, let alone those clumps), and, second, because all anyone will be paying any attention to are your moves.
Nevertheless, the 'dumping on the makeup' attitude doesn't exactly fit into my comfort zone. So, alas, I've adopted a way to look put together and party animal ready--in pure Parisian To Be stylée.

Your complexion. Although no one will be able to see your pesky pimples, it's all about the self-confidence knowing that they're covered up. Five products, but very thin layers of each (I told this is about expanding my comfort zone): the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*, the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance, the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, the MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer, and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. No camera-flashback glare and no shine. Just radiance.

Then, a brush of the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder to, as the name suggests, 'sculpt' those cheekbones, and a hit of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed for a pinky-brown-plum hint and an 'I'm not a ghost' flush.
Alas, we've arrived at the eye makeup--the star of the show (and an excuse to use my new palette). To start, I layered on a sheer coat of the MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, then swept MAC Patina all over the lid and under the lower lashline for a golden bronze sheen. To accent the crease, I nudged in some MAC Quarry, then curled my lashes and went wild with the L'oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara.

Zoom, zoom, and we're out the door. Just a spritz of eau de toilette, and a swipe of the most darn amazing lipgloss--the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer. Now, let's let the lion out; I am a Leo, after all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Candles

Since the weekend looms near, you better begin locating your matches. There is nothing I love more than curling up in my bed, hot cocoa in hand, Gossip Girl rolling, and, most important, candles flickering.
There's something about candles that reminds us of winter and warms up a space. Perhaps it's the resemblance to a crackling fire or a symbol of warmth. Whatever it is, playful and civilized pyrotechnics alike will be burning away wax, fragrance, and matches this winter. But, here are my picks.

Five words. The Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle. The warmest burn (sniff-wise) with notes of bergamot, plum, rum, leather, amber-patchouli, and vanilla. At first whiff, it's sucre-esque scent of fruity plum reveal way for the creamy mix of vanilla and milk. Alas, at it's base, the deep notes of rum and leather heat up the air--in the fashion of a nicely-scented boy.

On the floral front, the Voluspa Mokara Candle reigns. I know what you're thinking--a floral for winter? But, hear me out. The aroma of mokara orchid (thus, the name), white lily, and spring moss may resemble that of a budding spring, but doesn't fail to smell fresh in a chic way, nearly crafted for a lazy sunday compliment.

Concurring with the fresh notes, there's the Good Nature Balsam and Cedar Soy Wax Candle. The most seasonal of the bunch, it combines the glow of eucalyptus and oak moss, the warmth of cinnamon, and the coziness associated with fresh balsam--the scent lingering upon your Christmas tree.

Then, there's the cozy, warm, and fresh hybrid--the Capri Blue Hibiscus Teakwood Candle. The sweetest of the lot, don't fret because it's not too overpowering and still remains subtle. A fresh whiff is delivered from hibiscus and tobacco blossom, sandalwood, and teak, and a hit of warmth from vetiver, sultry ginger, and spicy amber. Ahhhh.

Oui, I'm aware that all of these candles are breathtaking and utterly compliment cold mornings and cozy evenings--both under my duvet. But the best part? They're all brother-approved.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The MAC Palette Venture

Once upon a time, a generous grandmother materialized at Lillian's door and inquired about her desires of hitting up the shops. Well, hell yes! A little pitter patter through the lanes, and, soon enough, they stood perched under the 'MAC' sign. With a stumbling heart, little Lillian entered and soon swatched her heart away through all the petite black pots; all whilst recalling the most praised upon names, and, soon enough, ventured out of the shop with an empty quad and four pots of gold happiness pigment in tow.

This was my Saturday; and, oh boy, was it good. Of course, us as a pair could have entered through heaven the Sephora gateway (as if we haven't done that before...), but I soon realized that there was one seriously lacking category in my collection--eyeshadow.
Maybe it's the sense that I feel too 'made up' when I've brushed an embellishing tone onto my lids, or it could be that I just don't have the right chromas to compliment my makeup philosophy and daily slap. In turn, I assumed the later, and found four shades, perfectly housed it a little black box, to add to the daily makeup lot.

In the top left lies Era--a satin finish with a hint of golden sparkle (in the most tasteful of ways) that is as subtle as taupe gets. Similar to this beige is Naked Lunch. Both panned pigments exist similarly: sheer with a hint of sparkle. Nevertheless, I wouldn't waste money on two basically identical shades; thus, Naked Lunch remains with a more pink undertone (but, no one will assume you have Pinkeye).

At the bottom of the pan chain, the deeper shades reign. Assuming my subtle nature, you can go ahead and guess how 'deep' things are really going to be. Patina, on the left, reflects a taupy-brown pigment. Again, there's a splash of iridescence, but also a golden sheen. And, last, Quarry, the only matte shade of the bunch, boats a brown-ish grey tone with a hint of plum.

Alas, the MAC palette saga is just hitting its prologue. Is it normal for me to down into a slumber while anticipating stroking my brushes--a 217, to be exact--in these pans once more? No, it's not; just beauty blogger issues.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Beauty Garbage

The only way you could make the above title any more chic is by speaking the latter word with an accent Français. You know? --gar-baaagge. Well, pronunciation aside, let's discuss the beauty products in question (that have been used to the last drop and *gulp* I've been hoarding for over a month)....

Oh, skincare--you've managed to make your army come to an end and make me dish some more cash on their corresponding replacements. One of your most recent victims? The Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. It served me well, as it seriously took my day off, but also cleansed my skin come morning without any balance disruption. I can't help but feel a little hole-y, as the rather plain formula didn't really rise up in the benefits category (minus that makeup removal...darn), but I think I'll put you on my list for tried and tested, but not for immediate repurchase.
Secondly, there is the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion. My acidic toner of choice for twice daily use, it ended up checking out at the lower price spectrum, but, for some reason, the formula meant I had to pour out quite a bit to soak the cotton pad. Just like the previous casualty, I know it's a good 'un, but not as shocking for immediate repurchase.

After many rebuttals, my final bias towards the L'occitane Almond Shower Oil has been finalized. Prominently popping up in (basically) every beauty blogger's 'Best of 2012" favorites--soon we'll see if it's withstood it's love--I can't help but feel a little left out. Do I think it's as amazing as everyone says it is for shaving use? No, in fact, I much prefer my coconut oil layer. But, where I notice it's real shine is as a bath time accompaniment. A luxurious purchase (and, just in time for gifting-season, would be an amazing gift), but most certainly not a staple.
On a more positive note, the only repurchase from the whole trash bin is the Korres Guava Shower Gel. Granted, I have repurchased a different scent, but the formula is seriously spot-on: non-stripping, but well-lathering, mostly 'natural,' and nose-friendly.

Another natural product that has hit the bin is the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme. Arguably, it's the best cuticle product I've tried (yet, I can't say I'm a connoisseur just yet) I couldn't help but be a little weepy when all that remained was an empty tin. I tried to venture into other cuticle oils, but they just don't sum up like this one. Repurchase noted.
Last, the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner has been seized. An all-used-up eyeliner? I know--I'm just as shocked; but, the skinny tip was perfect for nudging in between my lashes for a little extra oomph. And when performances rolled around, it definitely came in handy for those top and bottom wings. True ballerina standard.

All I can say is that I have yet to see the day when a beauty blogger shows on Hoarding: Buried Alive, but, I may reach that standard soon. And, I now have more empty products to add to the basket. Oh, the joy.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

This Week's Most Loved Trio | Six

It's been a long time since we last visited under this five-worded category, but, alas, here we are.
It's true that it has been more lengthy since we last saw those Christmas lights (but, I did leave the ones in my room up all year...), and, seemingly, a little bit of the holiday sparkle that we all missed has been sprinkled into this week's three-musketeers trio of products.

Addressing the elephant in the room photo--there is an advent calendar. Oh (ho, ho, ho), this is not just any advent calendar, this is the Ciaté Mini Mani Month. Courtesy of my mom (the one I throw all my duds to...I've only got one!), this 'under the tree' gift rolled around a bit early and became a 'beside my bed' treat. A French brand name and a month's worth of nail polishes. Count me in, and forget those nasty chocolate-filled pieces of cardboard.

And, again, we meet at the topic of skincare. It's been a while since I last addressed the beast (besides my 'bad skin situation' hints), but there is a new cleanser in the maison. What is it? Cult-classic and UK icon: Liz Earl Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. A eucalyptus concoction that adds a little spa-esque sizzle to my cleansing routine. It removes makeup (even stubborn waterproof mascara) and hydrates for a refreshing morning cleanse.

My astonishment of my love for this next pot may not match that of my brother's love for the Dr. Jart BB Cream (don't ask), but, nevertheless, I have been loving the RMS Lip2Cheek in Muse*. The shade may not be as starry-eye evoking as others, but, once layered onto the cheeks, it imparts a ridiculously natural flush with a blend of pink, plum, and peach tones. But, then, there's the sheen--all down to RMS Beauty's blend of all-natural (like seriously natural) oils--that really stuns the eye. In two words: it's gorgeous.

So, I'm nearly ready for the festive season to roll around. Although you may be busy with all the holiday shopping (which, let's be honest, ends up resulting in more presents for ourselves than anything else), I will part time for another chapter of this 'Loved Trio' business. Until we meet again; if only I could maintain the same control over that darn Ciaté advent calendar.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm | Review

Whether you've got a fetish with pigment in the bullet form, glossy doe-foot applicator formulas, or buttery sheer pots, there's one staple in your stash. I know--you may think that they're all necessities, but let's be pragmatic. Okay, now you know the answer: lip balm. In fact, it's so fundamental that it's more skincare than makeup, it lives in your handbag, and is applied seven more than once per day.

So what is the answer to this riddle? The Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm.
The non-sticky, but emollient (almost oil-like) texture sinks into lips to actually repair your pucker, not just provide some artificial security. The formula contains a variation of fatty acids to mend dry and chapped lips instantly.
It's thick enough for luxe night-time use, but still light enough for some 'slap and go' mornings. And what makes it ever-more morning appropriate? The gloss. Oh, the gloss. Just apply this, and you can forget the additional pigmented plumpers and creamy chromas in your stash.

Then, the scent; it's not called 'mojito' for nothing. Infused with Malin + Goetz's classic 'mojito' scent of lime, mint, and basil.

So, next time you slap on your morning lip balm, consider: does your's have a mojito scent, apply a reflecting finish, and impart nearly perfect moisture? I think non.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

BB vs. CC | Alphabet Creams

Once upon a time, letters seized to be exclusively associated with bra sizes (I went there....), but, alas, were assigned to makeup. Yes, alphabet creams have taken over the beauty industry as souped-up tinted moisturizers that pack a bigger punch for your skin. BB, CC, DD; before we know it, 'EE' will be hitting counters. But, I've got the most popular creams (BB and CC) up for comparison, as we compare the acronyms of the beauty world.

In the grand scheme, marketing of both potions differ.
The 'BB's', standing for 'beauty balm' or 'blemish balm', tend to be marketed as a moderate to full coverage offering with a creamy texture and more matte or satin finish.
On the contrary, the 'CC's', standing for 'color-correcting cream', boast a more, as the name suggests, color-corrected complexion, a sheer to moderate coverage, a lightweight formula, and a dewy finish.
Sounds promising, non? Well, this is where things get interesting--let's compare two opportunities: the Dr. Jart Waterfuse BB Cream and the Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream.

Proceeding in alphabetical order, let's begin with the BB. The Dr. Jart offering sure wins in the skincare category--containing 'water bead technology' to hydrate and maintain moisture for a dewy aesthetic, and, for the long term, aloe leaf extract and hyaluronic acid. Then, the addition of SPF 25/PA++ means that you'll be able to skip your regular sun protection dosage.
Concurrently, the Clinique offering also contains SPF, a factor of 30, but sans the PA++'s that the Dr. Jart formula jives. Similarly, the CC's lack a bit in the skincare department, but succeed to promise a complexion perfecting formula that corrects redness, dullness, and sallowness.

In my experience, I find both formulas to be equally correcting, but I can't help but admit that I find the Dr. Jart potion to be ever more redness correcting--most likely down to that aloe--but the Clinique does offer more in the other altering departments. In fact, I find the BB to have less coverage than the CC, but the former does have a more buildable quality. Similarly, the BB also has more of a versatile finish: matte when really blended into the skin and more dewy when it's more patted on.
Albeit, the CC has a more 'radiant in all the right places, but more matte in the others' finish and a thicker formula, but both never fail to feel ridiculously lightweight on the skin.

Personally, I prefer the Dr. Jart tube; it's just so darn good. But, I can't help but admit that the Clinique contribution does have it's benefits. And this is the point when you decide which one is for you. I know; it's a difficult accord. Perhaps this will make it easier--the shade range. Unfortunately, the Dr. Jart Waterfuse BB only comes in a *gulp* one shade range. On the contrary, the Clinqiue offering puffs a nine shade range. Whoa.
So, there you have it--the comparison of BB and CC. If you're indecisive like me, just get both.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The New London Pharmacy Purchases

One of you has your own lot of products, delivered from New London Pharmacy, to pamper your limbs, complexions, and general vitality. When the lovely ladies sourced from the pharmacy itself inquired about my willingness to purchase some goodies from their site, I...well, I bet you can guess what happened. So, it's my turn and yours to feast your eyes (after you've feasted your tastebuds--happy belated Thanksgiving) on my hand-picked New London goodies.

Through a selection of aromatherapy products, fruits for nail care, hair, skincare, and makeup, I've chosen one product from each class.
Makeup-wise, I landed on cult brand RMS (Rose-Marie Swift) Beauty. I have already lended my heart to their gorgeous Living Luminizer, but, this time, I landed for something with a bit more punch. The RMS Lip2Cheek in Muse*--a muddy, peachy-plum which imparts a bit of sculpt and color to a lackluster face, not to mention a hit of healthy, natural sheen; and it's formula is organic, gluten free, GMO free, soy free, nano free, and free of animal testing. And, for another offering, their Buriti Bronzer has been added to my Christmas list.

Then, there's the Phytoneutre Rebalancing Shampoo Cream*--a eucalyptus, sage, and chamomile blend to help mend irritated scalps and impart a healthy dose of shine. The French brand doesn't disappoint and foams to a rich lather and, in addition to those qualities mentioned above, initiates some serious hair-petting obsessions.

In the fragrance department, when the TokyoMilk Dark Chance No. 18* rollerball landed upon my doorstep, I knew it was love. I had been hunting for a figgy-earthy fragrance offering for quite some time, and I had found the one. The earthy base of fresh bamboo, tea leaves, green fig, crushed cedar, and osmanthus takes a dose of blood orange and sugared grapefruit, followed off by a sniff of soft, white musk.

And the remaining duo comes from the fruit of nail care. First, a seriously luxe cuticle care-giver--the Tweezerman Pushy Cuticle Pusher and Nail Cleaner*. With a good weight and stainless shape, it will be sure to gently push, nudge, and scour your nails to perfection.
Then, for the second part of  your manicure, layer on the butter London La Moss Nail Lacquer*--a deep, burnished plum, red, and slightly black hue with a nasty-free formula (if you want to be technical, 'three free') with a nearly perfect glide, hosted by a wicked brush. And we can't forget about that packaging.

So, there's been a new addition to each sector of my beauty stocks, and I can't imagine that New London wouldn't have something for you to lust after, as well. If you live within the vicinity, check out their shop, but, if you're like me, check out their online site for some European goodies. That's the New London Pharmacy selection. Over and out.

The above items were supplied to me, free of charge, by New London Pharmacy, but I selected them with my own ego and all my views are always my own and are never influenced by any PR factor. Nevertheless, all PR-supplied items are marked with a '*' and you can check out my 'Disclaimer' for more information.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aromatherapy Buying

There's something that sparks my adoration for aromatherapy when autumn and winter rolls around. Maybe it's down to the fact that the thermometer drops to the teens or single-digits. Or perhaps it's because I load on the blankets and spend too much time browsing beauty sites. Nevertheless, I've been eyeing up candles, bath products, oils, and anything with a dreamy scent like a hawk and two have landed at my doorstep.

Beginning with that bath and body category, let's talk Korres. Their range is available in Sephora and other select retailers, but nothing challenges their UK range. With nearly ten times more scents, variations of body milks, butters, scrubs, and a watermelon tinted moisturizer *swoon*, I couldn't help but order a UK counterpart. And I selected the Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Shower Gel. It's not your ordinary vanilla, cinnamon whiff, but more of a musky, slightly sweet, chic scent that adds some cold-weather comfort to my showers or baths.
As for the formula, I can't hesitate to say that Annabel has rubbed off on me and I've been making more vicarious choices in the beauty department. Crafted with active aloe juice, naturally enriched with vitamin C, E, zinc, and antioxidant enzymes, your skin will be left nourished and comforted. In addition, it's also concocted without mineral oil, and...with 89.8% natural content, but you'll have to get your own bottle to read the rest of the amazingness.

And then, there's candles. Considering there is no burning wood within my vicinity, I feel the need to simulate one within my room. I haven't had the confidence to splash out on Diptyque Feu de Bois quite yet--the epitome of make-believe fire scents--but I'm nearing the occurrence. Nevertheless, this time, I snatched the Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Candle. Sitting on my bedside table is the votive size (coming in at a purse-friendly fourteen dollars), but, you know what they say: 'good things come in small packages.' The scent? Top notes of bergamot and plum; middle notes of rum and leather; and base notes of amber-patchouli, and vanilla. And then, there's the formula, again--earth-friendly. It's devised with a natural blend of beeswax, and vegetable and soy waxes, too.

So, my habitat will be smelling l o v e l y over the next couple months. Don't worry, I keep you posted when they run out and I purchase a new aromatherapy duo. And breath....

Friday, November 29, 2013

November Favorites

By now, nearly all the leaves have fallen off the trees, the thermometers have dropped, and the official 'first day of winter' looms near. So, the rakes may have been busy, but this month has been rather quiet on the beauty front. I've been sticking to some firm favorites and have made little effort to deviate from those mentioned. Nevertheless, don't tell me I'm not good to you, because I've scoured the stocks to come up with a selection of products that have been my favorites this month.

So, there's one underlying theme--hydration. For skincare, I've been slapping on the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. Yes, it's back. I adored it last winter, didn't touch it come summer, but now it's become a near necessity in my routine.
Coinciding, the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm has been my recent pick. No stickiness, just some sheen (which makes it suited for morning application) and some rich, hydrating oils that make it nearly perfect for evenings.

In the shower, I've been enjoying the Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Shower Gel. The sniff couldn't be more fitting for this time of year and it always makes my skin feels clean, yet moisturized. And I can't ignore the fact that it never fails to make me slightly hungry after every use.
I'm sure you've heard about my slight skin fall out over the past couple of weeks. Well, I think I've finally gotten it back to normal, but during the day when I couldn't load on the skincare, I relied on a hefty, yet well-placed dosage of base and concealer to hide those pesky spots and scars. The one makeup savior? The Real Techniques Detailer Brush. Part of the Core Collection (you know--the one that comes with that darn amazing Buffing Brush), this with a little dose of concealer on the end--preferably the MAKEUP FOR EVER offering--does wonders. It's known as the pinpoint method, just carefully placing concealer where you need it, but covering without the dreaded cakey look around the places where the extra coverage just isn't needed.

So I've hit all bases, so far, except one. Candles. Ahhhh, I've had a recent running obsession with the burns. This months most-loved? The Good Nature Balsam and Cedar Soy Wax Candle--it smells like Christmas trees (even though it's not that time of year just yet), is brother-approved, and balances cozy and fresh. Now, where are my matches?

So, there's the roundup. To say that I'm excited for December would be an understatement, but here's to some pine  and vanilla-cinnamon scents, real-life Photoshop action, and some hydrating heroes. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Autumnal Makeup

Alas, tomorrow marks 'Turkey Day'--Thanksgiving. A brazened bird, sweet potato fluff, apple pie, candles...more pie. And what does the thermometer read? Pretty darn cold. It seemed like the perfect time to put together my ensemble of products for a nippy, warm, and falling-leaves appropriate slap.

Let's begin where this story always takes us--the base. Because I'm practically obsessed with the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*, I'll be slapping that on, followed by a layer of the Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. Not only will this combo look utterly dreamy, but the CC cream will dehydration-proof your complexion and will look fresh until you wake the next morning for the Macy's Day Parade.
Finish off the basic face with the Origins Plantscription Anti Aging Concealer for that Rudolph nose, of course, and a layer of the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. It may not be as oil-ridding as my Hourglass love affair, but it sure does smooth over that face of yours and supply a satin finish (à la Chloé).

And then, I'm forgetting bronzer *gasp* and contour. Instead, I'll be opting for a slightly more seasonal pick--the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed. Little tawny compact, welcome back to the pages of 'Parisian To Be'; long time no see. Placed slightly higher up than the apples, it will add sculpt and color, sans the need for an additional step.
It's time for the two necessities; cue the Maybelline Full' N Soft Waterproof Mascara and the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, Hubba, hubba. Now those are two daily essentials whose spot will always be preserved.

And this is where things get funky, as I'm throwing on eyeshadow and some lippy beef. If it wasn't for the nearly perfect lip tint known as the Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, this wouldn't be occurring, but the berry-reddish pinch and smooth, easy formula is just too hard to resist. And the same wouldn't be happening if I hadn't stolen the NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Portobello from (guess who)--ma mère. The lighter of the two shades, swept into the crease adds a hint of definition to my otherwise normal and flat looking face. And yes, I got this for her last Christmas....

Phew! You're attention span may not last through the Thanksgiving football ceremonies, but your makeup sure will. Alas, this is where I part--to find my way to that pie....

Monday, November 25, 2013

The 2013 Chic Holiday Gift Guide

Last year, I mused upon all things European--specifically Parisian and British, quelle surprise--to load a picture with my gift recommendations to wrap up for your loved ones for the holiday season. Well, this year, I'm bringing back the tradition, but with a bit more flair and variation. Granted, most of these products aren't your typical lot which you'd find in the good ole U S of A, but they'll be sure to make your devotee smile.

Aurelia Miracle Morning Time Gift Set £ $. Aurelia's Miracle Cleanser has risen in the ranks over the past month and, now, they've packed the probiotic, universally pleasing cleanser in a box with an adjoining muslin cloth, rose tea cup, and morning time tea.

Diptyque Orange Chai Candle £ $. Apart from the fact that the ten votive assortment of Diptyque candles has my heart beating at a rate of knots, their Christmas offerings are a small bit more festive. Pictured is 'Orange Chai,' but 'Pine Bark' and 'Indian Incense' also join the triad. And they also come in mini sizes for personal indulgences and midnight pampers....

Belmacz Gold Leaf Lip Gloss £ $. Renaissance inspired glosses infused with 24-karat gold. Now that's luxe. With shades as classic as translucent or as rich as ruby, all will light up your party-nights with a hit of gold.

Dr. Hauschka Daily Face Care Set £ $. Whether your recipient has an oily, normal, or dry complexion, their skincare loving heart will adore you. Each kit comes packed with trial sizes (the decent variety) of Dr. Hauschka favorites to mend their complexion.

No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor £ $. Blog turned book author Siobhan O'Connor talks to consultants and M.D.s about the harm of what we're putting on out hair, skin, nails, feet.... Propylene Glycol?

This Works The Dream Team Sleep Duo £ $. Not only have I been eyeing up this whole range for over a year now, but this set comes packed with the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Stress Less. You better give this to mend minds before the holidays.

Neom Three Nights of Peace £ $. Three bottles, and a bazillion natural oils--not really. But more like moroccan rose, sweet basic, jasmine, and other tranquil and bliss scents. Did someones say pamper?

Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush £ $. For you UK gals, this may seem like a boring gift. And that's why they say you always want what you don't have. And I know who wants this...me.

Korres Shower Gels £ $. Some varieties are readily available in the US, but, coinciding with the previous product, the UK scents are so much better. Pictured is 'Vanilla Plum.' Mmmmm....

With everyone on your list ticked off. It's time for some personal time. Now, where's my wishlist?
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