Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Favorites

We are full on into summer and, although I considered myself a autumn/winter girl, I'm loving the drone out daylight and sunshine. You know the drill - the most reached for, at grab, and lovely products from the month. Since the apex heat of July is more near than ever, June still delivered, balancing pure summer fever without driving me to lose it in the long, solstice days. So, here it is: all things sweat proof, gotta get to the beach ready, and slap-bang fantastic.

It's true - us homosapiens love a good read to mask our realities or drift us into fantasy. This month, the full on beauty read, equipped with photos of the stunningly gorgeous, known as Allure Magazine has dished out some light, water-side reading. With cheeky product reviews and a good, well written essay, it fits the mood (whatever mood that may be) and correctly enhances my sunny disposition, yet hides it incognito when it's less than desirable.

Summer reading aside, it seems suitable that I've been slathering on the SPF too. *pats self on back* The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 seemed like a no brainier. Once I got past the déjà vu of my mom and the pool, I was able to scough up the courage to slather it on myself. Yes, it smells like sunscreen, but, other than that, it's undectable on the skin and nearly disappears. Score!

Who doesn't love a good bubble bath? As of late, I've been pimping mine out with the Korres Shower Gel in Guava. Although it makes an uber lovely gel douche, it soups up double duty when in comes to baignoire fizz. The scent, although fruity and eu so summery, is far more grown up than the fruity washes used by the adolescent Lillian. Then, to make the pamper evening complete, the Aesop Parsley Seed Deep Cleansing Mask has been top shelf. It as got the cracking, detoxifying powers of your normal clay mask, yet, somehow, doesn't irritate the skin or dry it out too much. For me, that means no red Santa-Clause-like pink cheeks or dehydration nightmares - just pure bliss.

Nails - I've never been into them before, but now that the exams, essays, and stressful woes of school are gone and past (come August....let's just ignore that) and I've got a bit more time in my hands, the so thought of burdensome task of painting my nails has now become more than enjoyable. Chips? You better bet I polish them up (again...) less a minute after their noticed. My go-to polish of choice for that moment has been Essie Mademoiselle - a chic, barely there shade that simply enhances my natural claws, yet adding a touch of milky pink. How Parisian... Then, since the extent of my nail care routine as of thie month has been nail clippers (yup, no file), I've added the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength into the mix...and I'm loving it. No more Raggedy Ann faced tips, just a clean perfect base for the color to come.

Although it spaced a prime position in my May Favorites, it's making an appearance, again, after another month's grab - NARS Laguna Bronzer. In one word: it's fab. Not orangy, just imparting a sun kissed complexion mocking a holiday in Milan. The subtle shimmer makes it uber pretty, but not glittery and adds a bit of oomph, making it a summer grab.

So there - the sunshine ready favorites that have made their way to the top of my must-have list. No hands off procedures going on here! I guess this is the caboose of the favorites' train. See you next month!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Skincare Application

Routines aside, I've been taught by the best (Isabelle Bellis, anyone?...) and I've learned that ''application is, basically, essential' - and I quote. Cleansers, toners, other skincare ($$) may reside, but how can make all difference. So, here lands the skincare how to for cotton pad obsessives and mathematicians (put that math to the test for counting drops...). No product names (but if your interested, I'll link under term) - just pure know how.


Post breakfast nibbles -it is my favorite meal of the day, after all)- skincare is next on the map (most likely accompanied by a cup of joe). In the morning, I skip steaming and prep and head right in with rose water, the clean emulsifier which gives cleanser a bit more slip. Two to three sprays all over the face and that's sorted. A nickel sized (sorry aboard-ers) drop of cleanser gets worked into the face in upward movements, to counteract gravity, and in circles to clean the skin.

Most days, I'm lazy, and I'll reach straight for moisturizer, but if I've got a little more time on my hands, I'll do the whole nine yards. Step one: toner on cotton pad (a beauty junkies' best friend). Sweep in circles or lines, whatever floats your boat, and follow with serum. Two pumps/drops and I'm good to go. NOW moisturizer - two pumps (again...) and spread. Then, SPF. I normally squeeze a line's worth onto my middle finger to mix and apply, but, in all honesty, there's no method to my madness.


If you really want proof that I'm strange, here you go - post shower, I jaunt to the sink and grab the cleanser while my skin is still fresh from steam. Although I do my best to clothe myself beforehand, one pump and I spread all over. Yes, I don't wash my face in the shower. Like I said... Ten minutes later, the rose water gets sprayed again and I'm in for the massage, complete with 'swimming motions' and the rest of the try-hard facialist steps. 

Toner? Same as morning, yet it happens far less blurry eyed. For serum, my money saving tricks are up my sleeve: one drop for the forehead and nose and another for the cheeks and chin. If my skin is really in dire need, then I apply more...disdainfully, as this stuff is expensive. Normally, I skip on eye cream in the mornings, but at night, I use a pea sized amount for a bit of nourishment. Starting at the outer corner, apply, and circle clockwise around the eye. Professional, eh? At this point, I'm probably struggling to keep my eyes open as the clock strikes twelve, so I slap some moisturizer on the face and now, to bed!

So, there's the low down of the application process, sans pushy product names. That's skincare, sorted.

P.S. For terminology explanations, see this video here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Essie Mademoiselle

Tinted moisturizers, barely there mascara, and minute spritzes of the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray; I like to say that I prefer things subtlety. Well, it should be no surprise to you that I've been downing my nails in a sheer coat, hosted by the one (and only) Essie Mademoiselle. Worn upon the nails of Essie's husband himself, if it's subtle enough for him, it's subtle enough for me.

I'm proud enough to say that this is the first Essie nail color that I've purchased. Yup - not stolen from the top shelf of my mom's cabinet (and I wonder where I get my sheer coat musings?), but purchased by yours truly. And, lastly, it's no wonder that I chose the shade with the French title...typical.

Two coats and your nails get a shed load of shine, and a pinky, slightly white, tint that still allows the au natural, contrast of the nail and tip come through. It may be sheer, but I just can't stop looking at my chic nails. During show and tell, I've gotten a few 'you're wearing nail polish?' remarks, but, like I said, chic.
Perfectionist? I admit, so there shall be no chips on sight among my claws. Nevertheless, I don't mine another coat. Normally, it takes about three to four days for my restraint to come to an end. Although it's not particularly fantastic, it's hard for me to resist another layer with a brush as fantastic as the one on this white glass bottle itself.

Good skin days? They're okay. But a good nail day is far more preferable, as I can get away with a sheer coat, hosted by Essie Mademoiselle. What shall complement my sheer, chic nails? A tinted moisturizer at a cafe perhaps?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stila Convertible Color | Review

Blusher and peachy pink obsessive? That's me. Why do I love it so much? Once upon a time, my pre-REN/Estée Lauder/Origins bare face was more pink than I would have liked. Even a splash of water and my visage would glow bright red. In the past, I've referred to it as the 'too blessed, English rosy' look. Now, those days are gone, but my complexion just doesn't look right without a touch of color on the cheeks. I attempt to steer clear of red and pink tones (I don't want to revisit the so called rose glow) and the peachy pink maven is in full throttle.

Wrap the pigment obsession into a creamy formula and you have the Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera. A multipurpose formula, working magic on both the lips and cheeks, if you think the color of the packaging is to die for (trust me, that's not the only reason why I bought it), the hue inside is true to match.

I can't say it's any miracle product on the lips, but I can vouch for it on the cheeks. At first, I was a little stumped as to the application. Applied with fingers and with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, it was a bit too full on for my liking. In the midst of discouragement, I sloppily patted in my regular blush brush and applied. Nevertheless, I was amazed at the results. So - rule of thumb: apply with fluffy brush.

Now, you know me and my dewy makeup situation, so a cream to powder formula, for me, didn't really make sense - why not just use the powders? Albeit, the same creamy formula that makes application a dream also results in a dewy, sheeny (yet not oily looking) outcome on the cheeks...je l'aime. And the creamy formula wins continue, as it's equally long lasting.

So, here lands another peachy pink cheek product. It's definitely more pink than the beloved Laura Mercier Peach Whisper, but some days, I like to have bit of post-exercise glow (because we now how often that happens...) The pretty packaging grabs my glance everyday...everyday. Oh - but the formula is great too.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Sunday Face

Minimal makeup is like my middle name. Similarly, maven of all sheer bases, dewy skin, and 'my lips' pout products, my daily makeup slap on may look pretty identical to the outside world, but I can tell a difference (and that's all that matters right?) Now, it's a Sunday, and my minimal war paint just got a lot simpler....yes, it's possible. And now, from bed with a side carafe of coffee, I bring to you the Sunday face - a simple match up of quick, go getter products for 'I'm on my way to breakfast at a cafe and I'm hungry' sort of times or when I'm feeling lazy...quelle surprise.

After I've quickly slapped on my morning skincare routine (and I mean slap), complimented by a final touch of Origins Vitazing, I rush to the vanity for the rest of the mash up.
The tired eyes and bad skin conditions are quickly camoflauged with a dose (a hefty, hefty dose) if the Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Concealer. The dual action peachy tint and liquidy, light formula means it works wonders under the eyes and on general areas around the face. Next, another hefty dose of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light means that I'll be oil shine free all day, but there's better news - packed on, it never looks cakey, but blurs imperfections, redness, and other skin woes, all while leaving a subtle 'my skin is good and glowy' sort of look. Can you tell I like this stuff?

Now, my skin is pasty as medicinal gauze, so a light dusting of NARS Laguna Bronzer and my skin looks surprisingly sun kissed, but still nearly indentical to the rest of my body...score! In all honesty, I've been addicted to this stuff for the past month - reaching for it everyday (and you though that just because this was a simple makeup look that I was going to leave it out?)

Since the rest of the makeup has looked generally subtle, I loaded up with a few coats of the Lancôme Hypnose Mascara. The results give a natural, doll lashes sort of look, with no clumping of caking in sight. On the lips, I continued the growing subtle theme with a scoop of the Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine. A moisturizing formula (comparable to the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm *gasp*) is surpisingly gorgeous in both the scent (like cupcakes) and tint department (a subtle nude).

 So there you have it - the Sunday, chill worthy makeup that will be rocking my face for the rest of the day. Now, this must be our goodbye, as I'm craving more waffles and am looking intently upon a trip to Sephora...there's no stopping me now.

Friday, June 21, 2013

L'occitane Almond Shower Oil | Review

So here's the drill - sunrise arrives and I awake with a full on view of the Eiffel Tower (otherwise known as the palm sized figurine on my bedside table. I digress...) Alas, I transport the morning cafe au lait, accompanied by croissants and fresh cut strawberries, to the balcony...or to the kitchen counter. Okay, okay - I'm no Parisian inhabitant, but you better bet that I try to convince myself that I am.

The morning wake up and chow down is not the extent of my pretending, but when evening rolls around and it's time to bathe, the L'occitane Almond Shower Oil continues the theme. Loved by beauty bloggers alike, the versatile oil serves whether I've got time to spare (*read: bath*) or I'm in a hurry and a shower is on the order.

The strong, yet not sickly almond scent lingers in the bath/shower after the work is done, making yearns for macarons or other almond-scented treats that much more manageable. The brand, L'occitane, is known for their lavender, French countryside-esque scents and bathing lovelies. It fits right in with the rest of my make-believe, French life vie.

Cue pamper evening and a hefty dose of the shower oil in the tub results in an almond scented, subtly moisturizing, bubbly lather. On the other hand, used as a body wash, it reduces the need for a body moisturizer, yet lathers just as much as the far more drying, other gels douches. Some claim its magical use as a shaving cream, yet I put that theory to the test and it resulted in anything but a jaw dropping reaction.

Although quite pricy and not considerably long lasting, the L'occitane Almond Shower Oil is most definitely an indulgent, luxury, bath and shower purchase, lacking 'holy grail' status. Gift givers, I don't know about you, but I would loooveeeee receiving this as a surprise treat. As for me, it will continue to live in my shower, in my apartment along the Champs Elysse...here I go again...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Eyeshadow Newbie Notes

Day by day, I'll make mental promises to myself that 'I'll do minimal makeup'. Time goes on, and soon enough, I will have reached for the primer, tinted moisturizer, bronzer, blush, highlighter, mascara, powder, and brow gel. Yup, I'm a promise keeper, but Just mascara on the eyes? Well, yes. More than that and I feel like my over all complexion looks too over the top. Well, this past week, I've been breaking the same promise tending to my face makeup, but for my eyes. So...I've been reaching for eyeshadow. Shocking, I know, but I've also been liking the way it looks.

Now, don't get too excited, as there are no smoky eyes going on here. I'm keeping it subtle, but I'm still here to show you the products that have been adding some pizazz to my daily makeup routine.
Eyeshadow newbies and experienced pros alike all seem to have this one tool in their kit - the MAC 217 Brush. Whether cream, powder, or pigment, this brush does it all at ease. Perfect for blending, crease work, or just all over color, there would be no Lillian and eyeshadow pair without the MAC 217. Another note: although MAC brushes are really expensive, they clean up in a zap and look pretty darn great afterwards as well.

Probably the most subtle out of the bunch is the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit. Long ago, it was an essiebutton influenced purchase, but it sat unloved for a while. As of late, I've been reaching for it quite a lot. A taupey shade that just adds a slight bit of definition to the eye, without being too much. With a bit of shimmer shot through, it's super long lasting and the consistency is like butter, making it an uber friendly option for shadow shmucks.

 Beauty bloggers alike lurrrvee the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I purchased this for my mom about a year ago, but she felt the 'shimmer highlighted her wrinkles' (her words, not mine), so now it's mine. Although I do feel a bit like I wasted $50 (come on mum!) I've been getting my use out of it. The shades 'Naked' and 'Sin' are especially dreamy - 'Sin' just lightly dusted all over the lids and into the crease, and 'Naked' as a subtle crease shade for some added definition.

The budget option if the bunch is the Wet 'n Wild Comfort Zone Palette. Although the shades have quite a bit of shimmer, I don't mind it in small doses and, just blended over the lids, they're gorgeous. I especially love the rose gold type of shade on the right side and the one below it, the bronze, for a night option, as it serves as a simple smoky eye. Even better, at just $4.99 it's wallet and aesthetically friendly.

The classic Stila Kitten is quite the multipurpose product. Although its super shimmery, the slightly pink tint makes it quite flattering on my skin tone and, just blended with a fluffy brush, it adds slight definition and sheen. That's one way, but the other is used as an inner corner highlight - catching light without the stark, white, eyeshadow look. Packed on, it can be quite dramatic, but still feminine and pretty. I don't reach for this as much as the others, but it's nice, nonetheless.

So, the diaries of an eyeshadow newbie have been told. I'm still working up the courage for an evening smokey eye, but I need some more lessons first *cue Lisa Eldridge*.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Following Parisian To Be

Attention! Attention! We will be interrupting our normal beauty musings and gibberish with a public service announcement. Being the avid blog reader that I am, my past time was spent checking my favorite blogs every five minutes in hopes of a new post. Ridiculous, right? Soon enough, I quit cold turkey and gave the job to my personal assistant - Bloglovin. Now, the constant checking results in a prime spot in my 'most viewed' page and a few too many 'refresh' clicks. It's far more constrained.

Those of you who are following this blog via Google Reader, listen up - Bloglovin wants YOU to create an account. Well, not really, but Google Reader is going through a few changes and, from personal experience, Bloglovin is much more reader friendly.

 If you want to continue receiving notifications on new posts, you must follow me on Bloglovin or follow via email (a tool appearing in the right side bar). Of course, you could turn to the whole five minute check thing, but, as a wiser being on the matter, I don't recommend.

As a regular ol' joe, I love Bloglovin. All my beauty reading and musings all in one place - clean freak heaven. So, if you want to keep receiving notifications about this blog, follow up. And now, we shall return to the regular programming.

Origins Plantscription Concealer | Review

Origins knows skincare. If you haven't been able to tell, I'm a fully confessed lover of their Vitazing Moisturizer, face masks, and pretty much everything else. Nice smelling, effective products, and lovely sales assistants dispensing loads of samples is the combination which leads to a trek to the green and orange stamped counter far too often. I've been pleased with their skincare in the past, so a few blogger raves and a spendy disposition and I had my hands on the Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Concealer.

Shot through with their anti-aging formula from the Plantscription line, the concealer claims to not only hide imperfections, but to aide them in the long term. I'm not on the hunt for the latest anti-aging miracle cream with seaweed and dragons blood (you know, the claims the beauty industry has these days), but perhaps in a few decades time. For now, I'm on the hunt for a good concealer, and, having been labeled as the perfect formula for under the eyes and around the face, I figured the dual action formula might serve me well on rushed mornings.

Upon purchase, the ever-so-helpful sales assistant warned me against using the Plantscription Concealer on blemishes, as it might reck havock. Nevertheless, I'm daring, and I tested it out. It was no miracle spot-treating concealer, but it lightly concealed without inducing worse results. Being a quite liquidy, thin formula, it didn't last the longest time and could be quickly wiped away using the same strength as lifting an egg. I wouldn't say it is th best formula for spots, but it was okay.

Spots aside, on the days when my skin didn't resemble that of a Proactive 'before' picture (okay, I may be exaggerating...), it was quickly at grab. Perhaps one of the most effective concealers in my stash for covering redness and under-eye drama, it has earned its prime spot. Because of its anti-aging formula, it works to sit on top of the skin - not falling into lines and other gravity-caused woes. Wiser gals, listen up - this may be the product for you. Age aside, night owls alike know the drill when it comes to under eye, concealer creasing. Well, I'm here to tell you that this same wrinkle-camouflaging formula works a treat for the dark circle, puffiness, covering. No creases (score!) and a slightly peachy tint means that it is an under eye savior.

All in all, it deserves a solid A on under eye and redness works. Not particularly fantastic for blemishes, but it does the trick. Meanwhile, I'll continue to use this multipurpose, one stop product in my stash for lazy and good skin days. I'll just keep it hid from my mom...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blogging on an iPad

Without going into too much detail about such a traumatic situation, my much loved laptop went sayonara and, now, and iPad is my primary 'work device' of choice. First off, kids and technology these days, and, second, although this little, white, 0.68 ounce rectangle made me as excited as I am on Christmas morning, I soon came to realize the restrictions.

After much wasted money experimentation, I have now come to find the golden standard of all apps. Don't get too excited, gamers. This is a blogger only post, ridden with tools to stash for our blog writing, photo editing, and general hard work.

The writing is the most important part of a blog post. Quite a debatable statement, but we'll pretend. Regardless, I've searched, dug, and snatched two that really bring in the smiles. First is BlogTouch - an easy to navigate, writing app to stash in your tool box. All in all, I'd say its pretty darn good, but it has a few downfalls. When it comes to scheduling posts and inserting links, the tide falls a little short. No frills and technology newbies, this ones for you.

HTML and 'too-cool-for-blogging' peeps, oh boy, do I have the one for you....Blogsy. Full on, Internet coding writing (and the rest of the population, you can write it like you would in s regular text editor) and high-tech genius make this one come out first in the race - but it was a really close call. Although it is slightly difficult to navigate, once you get a hold of the ropes, you can write and post with ease. Fully equipped with a built-in web browser and all the other bells and whistles, it does pretty much everything.

Enough, enough with all the writing. Photo addicts, this one is for you. At first, I wasted spent ten big bucks on the Photoshop app, but, Adobe, you need to sort yourselves out. Back to the drawing board - then came Snapseed. Although it doesn't offer layers and textures like Photoshop, the editing quality is INSANE. Yes, I rarely ever use all caps when writing, but I do when necessary. Easy navigation and darn amazing all around, the best part is still yet to come - it's free!

Apple addicts and techno freaks alike may have better advice for those seeking productivity on this device, but here's to you, from a blogger to a blogger (don't worry, I certainly am no Google customer service) - the app edit for posting, editing, and all thing blog-gy. At last, I'm talking about something other than beauty...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bumble and bumble Surf Spray | Review

For me, the beach is sort of a nightmare. Gritty clothes, brother chasing me with seaweed in hand, fish (I don't like them dead of alive), and screaming children make me cringe at any notion of a seaside excursion. Nevertheless, it seems pretty ironic that one of my most beloved hair products give my locks this so-called nightmarish experience - but I love it. The Bumble and bumble Surf Spray, is this beachy simulator, bringing whisps of salt laden, messy, beach babe hair to my own, land-locked home.

An even mist and matte texture - sounds right up my alley. Although the scent leaves a tad to be desired, it sure beats that of seaweed and dead fish. Whether spritzed on wet hair then blow dried or loaded on dry then scrunched, the outcome is the same....fabulousness. When applied to dry hair. It adds a bit of texture and wave, even to my stick straight mane. When applied wet, it adds subtle piecyness and volume. The results last a pretty long time, until terror by hair brush or shower comes. I have beachy hair? Well thanks! Where have I been all day? Uhhhh...most definitely the seaside (let's just keep it between you and me).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Inflight Essentials

I. Hate. Airplanes. Although traveling is one of my favorite things to do, the cramped seating arrangements, dirty smell, and general ick make the flying experience less than desirable. Luckily, the beauty loving side of me is able to scrounge my room for pleasant, pass-time activities to make flying a tad bit better.

Starting, I am a child. Therefore, my iPad Mini must always be at grabs for some dished out magazine reading (I lurrrvee Allure magazine) or for some Candy Crush Saga (I told you I'm a child). When it comes to snacks, they're like a pacifier. This time, I picked up a packet of dried apricots and a tin of Ice Breakers Sours - I'll try to refrain myself from having more than one.

Onto more of the beauty related items (because I know that's what you're here for), my main mission, besides passing level 23 of Candy Crush - ugh, is to hydrate. When my lips are as dry as the Sahara Desert, the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm is the only thing that sorts them out. Along with my lips, I'm sure you're aware of my dehydrated skin situation. Although the peachy scent and über glowy outcome is  pretty irresistible everyday, using the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask as a travel, post-flight pick up is basically essential (if you're feeling adventurous, then go ahead and use it in flight).

Continuing with the moisture quenching, my pre-sleep staple is squeezed then slathered onto the hands - the L'occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. It sinks in quickly sans stickiness, so you'll be able to get back to the Candy Crush sooner rather than later. Although the hand cream smells of lavender, for a slightly more pungent, airplane masking scent, I've relied on the Couture Fragrance from Juicy Couture. Not too sweet, yet still slightly fruity, it's not my favorite scent of all time, but I had the roller ball hanging around and it's uplifting powers worked their magic.

Prepare for take off, ladies and gents, as you've got all the inflight essentials to keep the ride pain free and beauty-centric. See you at your destination...

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Repurchases

It's not often that I will repurchase a beauty product, but when the déjà vu strikes upon the arrival of the parcel, I'm here to shout it from the blogosphere rooftops. When I know that something really works for me, there's no doubt that I'll try anything else. My growing fear of a spurred skin reaction of eve my undaringness urge me to buy things again and again. So here I am, telling the tale of the repurchased products.

It's fair to say that I'm definitely not daring when it comes to skincare. In the past, my use for the Caudalie Beauty Elixir fixed the growing redness on my cheeks. Now, it's my second bottle and my use of the herbal scented product is slightly different. Serving as my morning toner and night "give something" spritz, it does a different job, yet executes it just as seamlessly as it did the prior.

REN not only is a brand that bloggers love, but it is also the home of my favorite cleanser - REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. Containing lactic acid to gently exfoliate, aloe to soothe, and clay to draw out impurities, it's a previously-acne-prone girl's dream. I say "previously" because the time in between spots has changed from hours to weeks....pretty good, eh? The process is simple - a apply one pump onto steamed, dry skin (it sounds fany, but it really just means immediately post shower), and let sit while I sort the towel, day's worth of clothes, and hair. Then, I spray rose water over the top, massage in, buff using the Clarisonic (only about twice a week), then rinse and remove with a muslin cloth. It sounds quite long, but it is really quite simple.

If my love for the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask has not come across clearly, I hope it does now...with the second tube. A tiny amount slathered over the skin in the place of moisturizer results in glowy, plump, moisturized skin come morning. It smells wonderful and gives my dehydrated skin the moisture feast it needs. Simples.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Although some ode this phrase to a loved one, I'm associating it with the Bumble and bumble Surf Spray (how vain of me). My limp, thin, and soft hair may sound dreamy to some, but for me, it's more of a nightmare. A beachy, texturizing spray comes in handy more often than not in making my hair look a little bit...better.

I've mentioned it time and time again, but the Origins Vitazing Moisturizer is truly one of the best products in my skincare routine. You know me and my complexion resembling that of medicinal gauze, but the tan-ish tint never leaves me looking orange or tangoed. Glow in a tube, it's perfect underneath my everyday base or alone with a touch of concealer (call me lazy).

The repurchased trumpet has been blown and don't doubt that I won't be back when the process happens again. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner | Review

My love for this toner will be coined by the saying that you always want what you don't have. Once you obtain it, though, you love it even more. For further explanation, I shall inform you that the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner is not part of the Clarins US line (Clarins, sort yourselves out), but thanks to the good ol' worldwide web, us Americans can get our hands on some fantastic, gentle exfoliating, Hirons approved beauty booty.

Although the package explains that this should be used about twice weekly for a treatment, I like to break the rules. Goody two shoes, don't fret! Caroline states that it is, in fact, perfectly fine for everyday use and to be aware that companies must supply these sorts of directions to save them from lawsuits, etc. As for me, I've been using it twice daily as my toner of choice to 'prep my skin' for the rest of my routine. Containing glycolic, salicylic, and some other acid I've never heard of (the amateur-ness has got to show), it does a fine job at, you guessed it, providing gentle exfoliation.

My skin loves to be exfoliated, so if you're a Clarisonic user, there's no need to ditch it when this parcel arrives. With the extra exfoliating step, my skin has been pretty dreamy. Nevertheless, I have backed off in my use of the electric toothbrush for the face and retrain myself for thrice weekly use. My complexion feels much softer, fresher, smoother, and I've been getting less spots...score! If you've never used an chemical exfoliator before you gotta! For dry skin, it means sloughing off the patches. For oily gals, it will help normalize. For acne prone, it's going to help unplug any little, under the skin bumps and lumps and reveal a much better texture. It's not nearly as potent as Alpha H Liquid Gold ( which I still use as a treatment about two times a week), but it will create a more subtle difference on your way to looking more fabulous.

Although it contains alcohol, there's no need to fret, as it's counteracted with glycerin, similarly, making it hydrating. I don't find that it makes any large differences in terms of hydrating my skin, but it certainly isn't one bit drying. As for the texture, it's definitely a bit thicker and more lotion-y than other toners I've tried, but it'd also quite satisfying to slather caress over your face.

Another Hirons approved, ever so pleasing, skincare purchase. Just call me the parrot that follows the Queen's orders. At least I'll have nice skin...

Friday, June 7, 2013

From the French Pharmacy | The Edit

If you couldn't tell by the title of the blog, I'm obsessed with all things French. My friend's recent trip to Paris (just take a peek at the gorgeous photos here) and my ever growing obsession have resulted in a few too many consumptions of croissants,cappuccinos and, perhaps, too many French products hanging around. Now, I may not be able to read the labels (don't doubt that I don't try), but they all make my routine slap on a bit more...chic (??)

Nightly, my reach for the Bioderma Crealine H2O not only results in a clean, makeup free face, but the French enscribed bottle keeps me entertained during my teeth brushing sesh. Reading aside, the miscellar formula (in lame man's terms meaning a water that holds oil particles) removes and scoops up the daily war paint in a flash. 

The French do skincare like it's nobody's business (evidently, considering all the products in this post are skincare related), but one of the best I've found is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. A minty, herbal scented mist that tones as much as it soothes, it's definitely worth the extortionate price tag. Being about $18 even for the 30 mL bottle, it's no budget buy, but it sure is lovely. At the moment, it's serving as my morning toner - refreshing, soothing, and everything else good. It's no wonder its blogger hyped and well loved. 

Stocked on the dreamy aisle is the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm. Its an uber moisturizing, thick, treatment that cures any lips as dry as the Sahara Desert. I don't always love thick textures, but j'adore a thick lip balm. It smells a bit like oranges and honey, which I'm not too keen on, but it the aroma is quite...chic (???).

You know that anti-aging, rule of thumb - slather on the SPF. Perhaps I don't fit into this category quite yet, but any excuse to buy another beauty product and I'm in. The La Roche-Posay Anthelious 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid is barely detectable on the skin and is so thin that it makes it quite difficult to transfer from your fingers to your face. Nevertheless, if it sinks in quickly, is "ultra light", and offers up heavy duty protection, I'm in love, and, not to mention, do it happily every morning.

Let me illustrate the situation - the alarm sounded at 5:20 this AM, and as I stumbled into the bathroom, my barely visible, slits referred to as eyes were so swollen and puffy, it was hard to see. I reached for the pink and blue tube that is the LLierac Diopti Calm Anti-Fatigue Eye Balm and Mask, smothered some on, and tripped and fell down the stairs in an effort to brew the morning coffee *read caffeine rush*. I then embarked on my much easier journey back up the stairs and was surprised when I glanced in the mirror to see my monster eyes were gone. It's all down to this - the ultra depuffing, cooling eye treatment that is an early morning savior. 

Prochaine ma cherie, shall we meet at a Champs-Elysse side cafe and sip on cafe au laits while gossiping about the latest French drama? Sounds good to me, as long as we make a stop at City Pharma afterwards...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Sephora Trek Purchases

Last week, my grandmother came to town. Although this resulted in having to look presentable for once and utter the occasional "yes m'am", she and I made the trek to Sephora. Unaware of my extreme beauty obsessiveness, she seemed a bit puzzled as to why I came across as a four year old on Christmas morning. Nevertheless, she sat quietly on a nearby stool as my blood pressure rose in reaction to beauty heaven. Ten minutes later, I had what I wanted (I'm a planner) and we glided to the till...until she realized she needed a new mascara. Although this isn't that important, I would like to mention that her lashy favorite is Diorshow. I wonder where I get my high end makeup musing from? Oh, and I also convinced her to get the Dior Lash Plumping Serum...score! Now onto my beauty booty...

A pairing of my slight obsession with Kate's blog and a nearly empty Liquid Gold resulted in the purchasing of the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. A similar, alpha hydroxy acid solution to Liquid Gold, but with slightly different directions. Instead of the thrice weekly application, the concentrate orders everyday use for two weeks, then a break, then apply again. I've never been displeased with a REN product, but I'll keep you posted as to how things go.

Did I mention that my grandmother is very generous? Well, leave it up to her to allow an unnecessary beauty purchase. Don't worry, it was with her encouragement, but the Hourglass Ambient Loghting Powder in Diffused Light somehow slipped into my hands. Weeks prior, I had purchased the same Hourglass offering, but in Luminous Light. Unfortunately, the slightly pink undertone didn't match too well with my already quite pink complexion. I returned to the beauty checkout line and left empty handed. This time, though, with my grandmother's approval, I brought home Diffused Light. I've only used it a few times now, but the dewy looking powder results had me swooning from the start.

Do I see a repurchase in sight? Oh yes, and it's the Bumble and bumble Surf Spray. I couldn't resist the mini, travel size (don't tell me that smaller isn't better) and I loved the salty, texturizing spray the first time around. I orginally wanted to try either the Oribe Après Beach Spray or the Sachajuan Ocean Mist, but since neither were stocked along the shelves of Sephora, I settled (as if it were a struggle...) with my previous favorite, Bumble and Bumble counterpart.

I have a slight, growing obsession with the Korres Lip Butters. Their sheer, moisturizing formula is right up my alley. I currently have the shades Wild Rose and Pomegranate on the go (and its worth mentioning that I'm not too keen on Wild Rose), but my pick of notice this time around was the Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine. Smelling a bit like cupcakes - it's gorgeous - and imparting a subtle, pink tint, it's been my everyday lip balms and lip color in one.

So there we have it - the Sephora trek with the accompaniment of the grandma. In an ode to her, she's chic, stylish, and oh so generous, it would be inappropriate for me to call her cute like all others, but she deserves some other, grand title. Perhaps the "Sephora Trek Companion" will do.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Oil-Free | Review

The tale of my self proclaimed love for the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free has been told, but there was just something missing. Halfway through the day, my visage would be getting a bit too shewty *read shine* and my thirsty skin would leave things looking a bit patchy. So there sat my old love, alone in the drawer. Untouched for many months, I tried switching up my skincare routine to a more hydrating counterpart. I slapped the tint on again and things still didn't turn out as I had hoped. Alas, I realized that I must get my hands  on a primer...

Being the Laura Mercier fan I am, I turned to the woman herself (by that I mean website...) to match the perfect primer to go underneath her perfect base. After being side tracked by the slightly shimmery eye colors and lip glacés, I finally arrived at my destination and attached the makeup-loving part of my brain to the Foundation Primer Oil-Free. Then again, the sensible side grabbed the travel size in case the option for dehydrated, oily skin didn't work out.

Initially, I tried it under the Dr. Jart BB and scratched my little head as to whether it really made a difference. Then, I returned to the tinted counterpart and was left avec beaucoup d'amour. Fast forward to the end of the day- no shine, just pure dew, and no patchiness, just as good as it looked that morning. Score

In the end, it's not the most versatile option considering it really only works well under other Laura Mercier bases. Nevertheless, I love myself some Laura Mercier, so it's completely worth it for me. It's not incredibly smoothing, as it's a water based primer, but I won't reiterate the becoming obsession again. I thing we have a Laura Mercier roll going on here...
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