Monday, September 30, 2013
On the skincare front, my cleansing staple has been the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. As the name suggests, it takes the day's stuff off--no, but really. From waterproof mascara to a simple morning cleanse, it's good. Review here.
Although using products up leaves me with slight anxiety considering the money-saving-fiend I am, but I must remember that they, also, make room for better products. Example--the Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On. It's the only thing I've found thus far that rids of the wake-up puffiness, and, oh boy, is it cooling.
I've fallen in a love affair with the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. It may sound like your normal spot treatment, but it manages to keep cystic spots from touching the surface and deflates, calms, and aids the regular ones on their way to recovery. As for the post-spot scars, the Aura Cacia Rose hip Seed Oil has been helping them fade more quickly. It wasn't until a sick day home and a little boredom that I decided to dose myself up and load on the orange oil. After it had sunk in, the scars looked a little bit better. And that was the moment it landed a spot on the favorites roster.
I'm mending quite the addiction to Coconut Oil. Why it's called 'oil' when, at room temperature, it resembles more of a balm is beyond me but, not only does it smell amazing, but it makes a skin-friendly treat loaded into a tub of warm water (of course, complimented by a few candles...), applied post body wash for an in-shower moisturizer, as a hair treatment, and even in my most recent DIY session--a body scrub. Now, all I've got to test it for is cooking....
And, about that candle, the Voluspa Mokara Candle has been my favorite burn. Think floral, but still chic, test my running love by confirming how many times you see it in my upcoming photos.
Makeup-wise, my favorite base pairing has been the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer (review here) and the Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. With a lasting power that concludes later than myself, just the right amount of coverage, a non-oil-slick finish, and wicked color match (what you always have to consider when you're pale), it's not faulty and has been loooveeellyy.
T minus a year, the MAKE UP FOREVER Full Cover Concealer earned a spot in my stocks. I thought it was okay, but nothing special. Run through a few other concealing options and I'm back to report. It's amazing. Full coverage, yet not cakey; über long lasting; and (again) a 'wicked color match' means it's time for a revival..and for you to pick one up for yourself.
My lashes have been loving Benefit They're Real! Mascara at the moment. Although it doesn't advertise as so, it is waterproof; but it also isn't as volumizing as my normal lashing choices, but imparts a more 'my lashes, but better' appearance--balancing volume, length, and curl. And, just for a tip, don't apply in the typical 'zig-zag' from the roots, manner, just brush from root to tip *avoids clumpy mess*.
I'm still slightly in the midst of a makeup brush discovery, but my recent find has been the MAC 129. The MAC specialists approve use for bronzer, powder, or blush, but dipped into cream or powder, it delivers insane pigment to my cheeks. Not too big, nor too small, say hello to my new blusher love.
Well, that's the 'Parisian To Be', biggest favorites yet. Oh no! I forgot the..... I kid, I kid.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Oh, the beauty blogger tags; when blogger's alike join together answering the same darn questions. I've had minor (minor) experience once before with the liking, but I'm willing to take my first stab, on--quelle surprise--the topic of skincare.
Describe your routine in five words.
As I humbly wanted to utter 'I've got too much stuff sitting in my skincare drawer,' that's no ode (not to mention, doesn't fit into the 'under five words' guidelines. So instead, I've gone with:
intimate, clean, exfoliate, treat, and nourish.
The whole 'intimate' claim doesn't have to do with dowsing yourself in oils in your lingerie, but, instead, with the personal aspects to mending your routine to fit your needs. Second, 'clean'--the obvious choice which urges you to double cleanse up. 'Exfoliate' means slap on an exfoliating toner, 'treat' to deep-cleanse (and to not splash out on Clean & Clear products), and 'nourish' to add some moisture and care.
What's your skin type?
Combination, but dehydrated, acne prone, scarred, and slightly sensitive. I know--what a puzzle.
What is your favorite skincare product?
Phew--what a toughie. If I were to
Top blemish zapper.
T minus a year, I would have said the Origins Super Spot Remover, but I like to say that I've moved onto more sophisticated things i.e. the better. Currently, it's the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion because it manages to keep my cystic beasts from rising to the surface every time and, also, mends the regular pimples more quickly. Secondly, because of my dehydrated ranking, if more spots begin to pop up, I know that I need to dose in the moisture.
Face wipes--yay or nay.
Unless you want to ruin your skin, nay. Call me a copy-cat, but this is the moment when I turn your nagging questions to Caroline Hirons, because I'm her skincare follower.
Toner--yay or nay.
Most definitely yay, because an exfoliating option manages to keep my skin in check. Currently, the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion is my recent stash staple, and, applied morning and night, it exfoliates and unclogs the nasties *enter pretty mind picture*.
High-end skincare or high-end makeup?
When in doubt, splash on skincare. Why? Slap on the full-coverage foundations and cakey powders as you wish, but if you don't have nice skin, then your makeup isn't going to look as nice as it could. Second, from personal experience, high-end skincare is far more effective and the drugstore offerings are very minimal. No--I'm not saying buy the $200 'must have' cream, but with a little ingredient know-how, you'll have nice skin no matter your budget.
What is the most universal skincare product you've tried?
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight mask. Whether you're suffering with an oil-slick situation or a desert-dry complexion, this stuff will sort you out and leave you with a glowing dermis.
You're in a pharmacy and can only pick up one item--what would is it?
Assuming that this is a French pharmacy (you didn't think it would be anything else, would you?), I'd snatch La Roche-Posay Serozinc--because I'm lusting hard for it at the moment.
Top skincare tips.
Taking into account that I'm not a skincare expert (and that this post is getting rather long), I'll keep it snappy.
Don't buy anything containing mineral oil (paraffin liquidium).
Apply some sort of face mask twice a week (one mid-week and one on the weekend).
Whatever your skin type, don't fear facial oils.
Always apply moisturizer.
If I may say so myself, I'd say that this was a pretty large stab. Tell me how I did, will ya? And how's that for a skincare rambling?
And thanks to the lovely Daphne for tagging me, and, in turn, I tag jennypurr (because she's got some wicked skincare advice), Annabel, Bonjour Luce, and Ella.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Go on - have a peek through the 'Parisian To Be' archives. Chances are you've laid eyes upon loads of posts that mention the name 'Origins'. Yes, it's true - I'm a self confessed lover of the brand. It's far and few between that I've been disappointed by an offering and my stash of the stuff is rather large. Hear ye, hear ye - I'm here to state my Origins love affairs.
The brand's philosophy of capturing botanical extracts, oils, and all natural stuff to concoct effective skincare is pretty spell bound, wallet dizzying. As a warning, although I love everything, everything, and everything, Origins isn't for everyone - but don't rob yourself the goodness, so get yourself some samples.
I'll begin with the obvious choices - Vitazing and the Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment. I've written love letters to both in the past, but here's a short recap - think of Vitazing as your two in one, makeup and skincare hybrid. A dose of moisture, dewy glow, and healthy looking tint. As for the Make A Difference, it's a rather new addition to my stash, but applied right after serum, pre-moisturizer, it's a 'must have' for anyone suffering from dehydration, as it will miraculously clear your skin.
My first Origins purchases were the Dr. Weil Mega Bright Serum and Super Spot Remover. Both gathered during the days of being a skincare schumck, I've discovered better things, but I still think they're rather great. Although the Spot Remover sits unloved (I think it's for the better...), I've implemented the serum into my morning routine. I can't quite vouch for it's 'mega brightening' properties, but, for gals suffering from dryness, I think this would make a nice serum for you.
Another must have for dry skinned and the rest of the needy skincare crowd alike is the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. In the winter months, I had to strap on the handcuffs so that I wouldn't slap the stuff on chaque nuit, but the über hydrating, glow inducing formula is perfect for a midweek pick-me-up or snowy staple. As one with combination skin, I prefer its pairing with the Clear Improvements Charcoal Mask - a ridiculously detoxifying mask that, like the name suggests, will induce 'clear improvements' from spots and general congestion.
For a more daily cure from clogged pores, I'd recommend the High Potency Night A Mins Moisturizer. I've got the oil-free version (perfect paired with the Make A Difference Treatment), but I've got a friend who loves the regular version just as much. With salicylic acid and other glow-getters, you'll wake up to clearer and more healthy looking skin in no time. I wasn't too keen on the stuff for the winter months, but now that we're full-on into summer, it's back with a vengeance. Alas, Origins' genius makeup range which mends the two best things of the beauty world means that you won't have to look to any other brand to fit your face (but we know that this will never happen, as we're far too experimental). Nevertheless, their Plantscription Anti Aging Concealer is at the top of my concealer stocks. Although I'm not in need of it's wrinkle ridding properties, it works fantastically for all over the face - bags, spots, scars, and all.
And now--the new thing. Introduce the No Puffery Cooling Roll-On to the 'Parisian To Be' stocks. Is it cooling? Oh, yeah. And, in fact, I'm not quite sure I survived the mornings without it. Don't worry, there's a whole ode to it in the making.
If you haven't already gathered, Origins is one of my favorite brands. Somehow, I always find more things from there counters to add to my stash (as if I need anymore). Albeit, say hello to natural, yet still effective skincare's match--delivered to you, straight from heaven.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Now, there are loads of things floating on my wishlist, but this month's issue initiated a flip of the page to jot down all the lust-inducing products that have caught my eye. Add this to the fact that nearly five pages of the iPad edition are strictly devoted to Olivia Wilde and you've got a full on obsession. In fact, three hours Saturday morning and that was the October issue, done.
With honey oded as the flavor of the month, not only for the scent, but for the ways that the contained sugars pull water into your skin and how manuka honey, in particular, has acne-busting powers due to it's bacteria ridding ways, it initiated a new found lust for something I've had my eye on for a while now--the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask. Clarifying, acne busting (thanks to that darn manuka), yet nourishing at the same time, call it a clarifying mask for winter.
The other skincare bit mentioned (one, two, three...) four wonking times is the Eau Thermale Avène Mattifying Fluid. Now, I know what you're thinking--parched city. But Avène has incorporated an amino acid that helps short-circuit oil production with sebaceous glands before it can reach the surface. Glutamic acid, is it's name, but it only works more or less depending on where you're most oily parts are. Translation? No parched cheeks; no oil-slick t-zone.
First oded as a shine serum, then a heat protectant, then a glassy hair-inducer, and, lastly, the do-it-all oil that won their 'Best of Beauty' award, if I had to pay a dollar every time the Redken Diamond Oil was mentioned in this month's Allure, I would have dished enough to buy one for all of you. Made with ninety-nine percent natural oils, it penetrates hair to repair damage, but that's not all. Seeing that ridiculously, glossy hair is a must for the upcoming season, add this to the list for the only hair product you'll ever need (minus the shampoo and condition).
Chances are, you're a beauty junkie and already have loads of oils and potions for your hair sitting around, but what about a shine spray? Again, winning the 'Best of Beauty' award for the best 'shine booster' is the Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray. First, I've been falling hard for the brand with their luxe looking packaging and likewise Vivianna-love for a while now, but the ultrafine mist promises to impart glassy hair without a greasy feel.
There are three additions to the list that also have the 'Best of Beauty' stamp. Makeup-wise, the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sugar Frost won the 'beige cream' eyeshadow category, and--oh--you know how I fall hard for anything sheer (check), Laura Mercier (check) and slightly shimmery (check).
The best basecoat award went to the Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat--sounds intense, non? According to Allure, the 'rubber grip means that you won't need to MacGyver an elastic band around the handle to open it', while sticking to the nails with the same rubber-esque hold.
The best cuticle cream...is an oil? Yes--you're not seeing thing, but it's the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. It's hydrating and smells of (you guessed it) apricots...simples.
Well, I better start making room on the list for next month's issue *grabs wallet*. Does anyone care to join on the editorial-fallen shopping spree? Olivia Wilde, what about you?
Monday, September 23, 2013
My recent primer love? The Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*. A silicon based, white gel that...basically does everything you'd ever want. It's smoothing ingredient means that it (you guessed it) smooths over skin. Plus, it makes makeup glide on even better. Whether you're an oil-slick prone gal or one with a parched complexion, this primer will work for you. Sounds too good to be true, non? Well, it's neither matte, nor radiant, just an added layer over your skin to rid of makeup-meltdown worries.
Now, the most memorable part--the lasting power. Upon first trial, my day had lasted a good nine hours and it had been the same amount of time since I last looked in a mirror. Scary, I know. But, one quick glance and I knew this stuff was good. My daily slap looked just as good then as it did the morning I applied it. Score!
So, are you sold yet on the fact that adding a primer may turn your world upside down. Maybe if you try this one.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Everyone has an oft-neglected step. For my mum, it's washing her face and applying the whole of her skincare routine--I know...are we really related? For me, it's, one, perfume (despite the fact that my creator has a whole arsenal of Jo Malone downstairs), and, two, nails. Call me lazy, but, because a nail painting soirée rarely happens more than twice a month here at chez 'Parisian To Be', it makes rolling out the steps even more luxurious.
So it's a Sunday--undeniably my favorite day of the week. I've already scarfed down the pancakes (these, to be exact) and whilst I engross myself in the whole of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Season 2, I'll grab my tools and get manicure-ing.After you wash your hands (the Dr. Bronner's Soap is my favorite ever), grab the nail polish remover and a cotton pad and get removing.
Clip, trim, file, or whatever floats your boat. I, personally, can't stand nail filers, so I normally clip and just file to remove the pointy bits. Then, we're onto cuticle removing. Although I've only tried the Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover Maximum Strength, I'm not blinded by the fact that it's bloody amazing. I normally apply around the cuticle bed and up the sides, leave on for about a minute, then gently press with one of those cuticle-pusher-backer-tools. Mine is some cheapy bit that I found in the depths of my drawer (probably from a Barbie nail set...) so leave your tool recommendations below...si veux plait.
After that, I normally wash my hands again--mostly because I'm a germaphob. Then, I apply a pea sized amount of the Soap & Glory Hand Food. First off, the name is absolutely adorable. Also, when people say that this smells like the Coco Mademoiselle Perfume, they're not lying.
Using the cotton pad soaked in remover, I run over the nail once more to 'dehydrate' (sounds high-tech, but I just read it in a magazine once...I think) and get ready for the painting.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you should know that the nail combo known as OPI Nail Envy and Seche Vite Top Coat is, by far, the most blogger loved duo. And now, take a guess, because they're sitting on my bathroom shelf as we speak. Well, one of them is--and that's the OPI Nail Envy. Sorry, but it hasn't been invited to the nail soirée because I've found something better. Nailtiques Formula 2 Nail Protein is my nail polish base of choice. Why? Whilst my nails were in the state of a peeling and breaking disaster, this was the only thing that sorted them out and saved them to their natural state. Oh, I tried the Nail Envy, but it only seemed to make matters worse.
So a slap of Nailtiques, followed by your color of choice (and you have no idea how many fall shades I'm chasing) and, then a layer of the Seche Vite for a glossy, quick drying finish. Simples.
After the polish has dried (arguably the hardest part of the whole darn day), I layer on some Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream--it smells lovely (of lemon; duhrr), has acidic properties to break down dead skin, and nourishes for a healthy finish.
So, now I've got nice looking, polished nails and have completely indulged myself in the act known as the 'DIY manicure'. In short, I promise I'll try to make it more of a regular occurrence because I know that you're wishing for some more nail color notes.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Day by day--whether I like to admit it or not--I'm become more of a
lady woman. I know, it's scary. But, it also means that I nearly feel obligated to stray from my usual cheap-as-chips loot and turn to more mature options. No, I'm not just talking about trading my black skinnies for a matronly knee-length skirt (and we're not referring to this as a maxi), but the same applies for beauty.
One day I'll realize (in the distant, distant future) that salt sprays, my most loved hair product of the past, just won't cut it anymore. Cue the Bumble and bumble Quenching Complex--as mature as it gets when it comes to haircare, in my book. We both know I'm not a thirty-something business woman who stomps in pumps through the office halls in a CEO-esque fashion...but this is that kind of product.
I could go into the science and ingredient nitty-gritty of the
gel complex, but that's what good marketing is for. I'll dish on the real stunner--does it work?
I wouldn't describe my hair as abnormally parched, but it can get a little frizz-bally here and there on a day to day basis. Alas, post-shower, I pea sized amount of this quenching gel, mended through locks, and brushed through means that (A) my hair won't be the size of a tumbleweed come wake up, and (B) that my locks look shinier, healthier, and more pristine. Goes along with the CEO status pretty nicely, non?
Now, is this for you? If you are one of those 'heat your hair out of the wazoo' kind of gals who decides between one of your twenty heat tools daily, then no--because Bumble and bumble has a somewhat similar product made for you--their Mending Complex. Now, I can't vouch for it, but it's worth a shot.
On the other hand, if you're a low-maintenance gal (a shocking statement compared to Monday's post...just click and see), then this is for you, because unless you've got the hair that models flaunt in haircare commercials, you could get some use out of this hydrating, non-greasy, complex...especially if you're that CEO.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Firstly, we must mention primer--the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*, to be exact. This one, in particular, doesn't eek out a matte finish, nor a radiant one. Instead, it just performs a 'my skin is perfect' appearance by delivering a oil-slick ridding surface, a smooth canvas, and a ridiculously long-lasting spackle.
Then, the real skin evening powers. You know I've riddled on with BB creams long enough, but I've hopped on the CC bandwagon...and I'm loving it. The Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream offers a light coverage, but, miraculously, covers imperfections without a cakey look, blended with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush. As for the finish, it lies somewhere in between a dewy and matte appearance, but leaning slightly more on the radiant side. Now, the jury's out on the lasting power, because I've got no idea whether my makeup has been remaining past the nine hour mark because of the primer of the CC, but we'll leave it to the combo.
Concealer-wise, an equally long-lasting formulation of the MAKE UP FOR EVER Full-Cover Concealer has been covering up the extra, 'I want you to disappear' bits on my face--simples.
After I've successfully crafted a flawless, yet 'I'm not wearing makeup' face, I'll layer on (the one, the only...) the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light *cue heart-eyed emoji*. Think angels granting magic on your skin...that's all. This and the NARS Laguna Bronzer are the two ridiculously amazing, makeup picks that I couldn't envision life without. Yes--I know I'm dramatic, but they tick boxes and mend my complexion wants and needs. Imperfection blurring, makeup setting, and dewy-looking oil control? Check. A hint of bronze, depth, and sculpt? Check.
To complete the cheeks--NARS Deep Throat. It's pink and peach (quelle surprise), so it's no doubt that I adore it. With a tiny bit of shimmer without the whole glitter ball thing, not to mention the genius that is NARS Cosmetics, it's hard for my hand to resist a reach.
And now, we're past the complexion perfecting and onto the hairy bits--brows and lashes. Since I haven't gone too crazy with the tweezers and my bushy brothers are looking quite all right at the moment, a quick swipe of the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Granite is 'brows, done!' Lastly, lashes, and I've rediscovered my favorite mascara of all time--Maybelline Full' N Soft Waterproof. Don't worry, I'm mending a whole ode to it and it's in the making, but it's volumizing, lengthening, curl-enhancing, and, most importantly, looks like you've got nothing on. Score!
So, we've now established that my makeup is as ever-changing as when the waiter mutters 'today's specials' to each lad that sits down under his territory. Oh--you just wait until next week....
Monday, September 16, 2013
As I arrived in my new bedroom for the next five weeks and dropped my two, massive suitcases in a relieving manner, my mom flashed me a 'are you serious' look. In an effort to defend my luggage (or, more so, the ridiculous amount of beauty products that they contained), I couldn't help but mutter, 'Do I look low maintenance to you?'
That's right--I'm a high-maintenance daughter, but I can't help it. I often command complex dinner orders when dining, wake up ridiculously early so grabbing a measly Nature Valley bar is no option, and, most importantly, require two cleansers. Previously, the take-it-off routine consisted of three: Bioderma, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, and REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. As of current standings, the REN Clay still remains (you know I adore the stuff), but I've ditched the other two and replaced it with one--the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm.
With a thick, white, balm (quelle surprise) consistency, it quickly melts everything on your skin from the day's war-paint to the powdered sugar from that mid-afternoon snack. I dig into the pot during the dwindling hours of mornings and nights--for my morning cleanse and my evening pre-cleaning.
For the mornings, it's gentle, no frills, yet cleansing properties rid of the midnight gunk, but don't strip the skin. In fact, it's so gentle, it's not redness inducing, or pimple flaring.
For the evenings, it removes makeup in a 1-2-3 action and get's the waterproof mascara off like no other (even the most stubborn formulas--L'oreal Telescopic Waterproof, I'm looking at you).
In short, it doesn't disrupt the rest of my routine, clog the skin--like coconut oil did when I experimented with that--and gets the job done.
So, I know you fellow maintenance gals are probably pondering a purchase. Well, if you are and you've got any skin type imaginable--acne prone, oil-slick, aging, dry, sensitive, or anything else--this cleansing balm would work for you...because it's amazing, and makes your natural skin-type that little bit more manageable. And, it has even eliminated two cleansers, and replaced it with one. See, mom?
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I'm fully aware that I'm a US girl at heart, and that I'm supposed to refer to the time of year from September to November as 'fall', but you know me and my European pretending, so here we have the Autumn edit.
Now, don't dig out the chunky knits, chai lattés, and pumpkin pie spice just yet (unless you need to by means of staying warm, and, on that note--I'm jealous), but, if you can handle the wait, it's just one more week until the first day of autumn *spoken in British accent* and before you put away the denim shorts and all-other-things-summery, I'll give you a week to get all your cold and cozy ducks in a row and feast your eyes upon this post.
I'm sure we're all sick of the sweaty makeup references and need for powders and all that shebang, but, on the contrary, autumn and winter are all about hydration. A few of my favorite hydrating picks? For hair, I'm already in love with the Bumble and bumble Quenching Complex, but the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Detangler will be assigned as my general pep-up, hair moisturizing, and frizz ridding spritz, not to mention that it smells lovely. Skincare wise, I ran I wicked love affair last winter with the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. Well, it's time for a revival up in here because I haven't touched it allll summer...and it needs some love. On the daily hydration front, the Aura Cacia Rose hip Seed Oil has been dosing my skin in moisture and scar busting powers--and it's application shall proceed.
Normally, makeup isn't all that skincare related, but some recent releases have made makeup that little bit more skincare-esque. The first that comes to mind? BB and CC creams--I know, shocking. I think we've all found our way through the BB bandwagon, but I've recently been trying the Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. In one word, it's amazing. Lightweight, yet it eeks out a mesmerizing dose of coverage. It's also ridiculously long-lasting and balances the perfect mix of matte and dewy. Powder-wise, I think I'm stepping away from my beloved Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder at the moment and going for a bit more of a skincare-makeup hybrid--the half primer, half powder, By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. If I'm honest, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it, but it does keep skin feeling ridiculously smooth, perfected, and adds a dose of hydration.
Speaking of primers, most people use summer as an excuse to get away with everything dewy, but I'm a master at rocking the 'natural glow' during those months and need a little more help in the winter. Cue the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. Glowy, dewy, and all things awesome, it's definitely one for skins that want a hint of radiance in their daily slap, not to mention it means that you can skip the highlighter, an oft-neglected step.
I'm. obsessed. with. bronzer. NARS Laguna, to be exact, but I'm not quite sure if I can get away with it anymore *tear rolls down cheek*, but I couldn't ditch my 'cheek bones'. The Kevyn Aucoin Scuplting Powder means you'll be looking all 'movie star' in no time and means that you won't have to feel so bad when you down the tub of Ben and Jerry's...again...because you've still got some cheekbone faking up your sleeve.
Perfume and lip products--perhaps the most unloved genre in my stash. For one, I spend far too much time pressing the snooze button to have time for either, but it's no doubt that the Tocca Stella Perfume and the Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine have the autumn, most-will-be-grabbed title. Stella is a blend of bitter and blood orange, freesia, orchid, musk, and sandalwood to create a mix of a sweet, yet sultry scent, just heavy enough for fall, but still casual enough for day time. For the lip butter, the nourishing balm that ooods a bit of a mauve-nude shade means that it's subtle, yet eye-catchingly gorgeous.
My non-nail-polish-loving habits are, mostly, due to the fact that my talons are pretty high maintenance and require loads of nourishing treatments, oils, balms, and creams to keep them in tip top shape. When they're not screaming for some TLC, I will, once again, be reaching for the colors. The autumn pick? Essie's Merino Cool. You know I love Essie, but the burnt, taupe, purple shade means that it's anything but the minty greens that we were rocking in the summer, just a shed-load more chic.
Well, I'm sure I could ramble about my pre-mature,
fall autumn excitement for much longer, but, excuse-moi while I go craft a chai latté, not to mention grab my knits. Yep--I know Frosty isn't coming yet, but I just can't resist *cranks down AC to sub-zero temps*.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Ahh, summer. I'm not just a fan because it means there are no school work piles loading my desk, no mandatory eating schedules, no early wakeup calls (although all the pros do sway my opinion), but I mostly
Everyone speaks of lighter bases in the summer. Noting the fact that I run a year-long love affair with all things sheer on a 24/7 basis, I've been picking up one from the lot more than the others. The one? The Dr. Jart Waterfuse BB Cream - a redness reducing, skin tone evening formula which eeeks out a wicked, dewy finish, a good SPF coverage, and a skin smoothing property. I'm still applying it daily....
With all the schewty weather, a powder is basically essential, but you all know how much I hate matte makeup. So, I have the winning product--the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. Blurring imperfections, adding a bit of dewy sheen, and a makeup setter, you could identify me as the girl who slapped it on daily.
When researching the topics, one I wanted to include was 'the most worn blush', but if you know me by any means, I'm a blush floozy and my picks chop and change week to week. One repetitive reach (that took some cleaning to get off all the fingerprints) is NARS Laguna Bronzer. I've said it once and I'll say it again--it's gorgeous. I hint of sheen, a perfectly bronzy tint, soft formula, and all around goodness...swoon.
For lips, another all time favorite is making yet another debut - the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer. In three words? Natural, buttery, and gorgeous.
On the topic of eyes (shocking, I know), the L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara has been my pick of choice, one, because it's waterproof (and my ridiculously sweat genes need it) and, two, because it's pretty fab. Although it has a wet formula which can result in a bit of a mess, it holds a curl while still managing to give off a good bit of volume and length without looking over the top. On the lids, the 'lid' shade (such a unique name, non?) from the Wet 'n Wild Comfort Zone Palette will forever have my heart. Although I by no means applied it daily, I did quite often and it was pretty, pretty, pretty.
A stereotypical summer love? The Bumble and bumble Surf Spray (quelle surprise). On a more interesting note, my most worn nail color was a tie between two. Both nudes, they're still different, but, apparently, by my standards only. Nevertheless, Essie Mademoiselle offers the sheerest coat of the two and simply imparts more clean, well-manicured looking digits. OPI Samoan Sand, on the other hand, has a pretty summer worthy name, and, also, evokes a more opaque layer of a more than natural looking color.
Although I make time to paint my nails, perfume is a step that's oft neglected. The regular spritz is lacking in my usual routine, but my dry skin is always in need of some moisture. Cue the Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter. Yes--I know it's from a grocery store, but Trader Joe's always reels me in with their unique and utterly delicious food finds. Wrap this up into a deliciously, summer smelling body butter that has yummy ingredients...and I'm on my second tub.
I never really talk about fashion (only suitably stated in a French accent), but here I am. Most lists included top, shoes, accessory, but I wear everything equally, except these two.... The BDG Shortie have won top picks for my most worn shorts. They're freaking comfortable, look amazing with everything, and are a staple in my wardrobe.
For bag, I'm not one of those bloggers who carries everything and the kitchen sink upon their shoulder. I'm a cross body gal, and the Rita Colorblocked Purse has been my body-crossing-repetitive. Large enough to carry just the essentials, but still pretty small, it was perfect for my summer in New York and has been getting some equally considerable wear time whilst I live my suburban life...bohumbug.
Yes, I'm definitely over this hot, hot weather, but I'm still digging it enough to talk about my most worn of summer. If your blood pressure has risen whilst reading this post, or you simply would like to see these as a recurring theme, then feel free to tell me, because I like to know these things. And now, back to daydreams of chai teas, sweaters, and blankets *shuts eyes*.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Oh, Jemma Kidd--many sing praises to your 'Light As Air' Foundation (which, for reference, I was never able to try), but my heart sings praises to your highlighter. Yes, we're talking about the Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Cream in Rose Gold. I try not to taunt all of you who are dewy-glow-less by singing its praises time and time again, but now, I can, because I've found a pretty good dupe.
The product in mention? The Benefit Watt's Up! Highlighter.
The first, and most notable difference between the two, is the storage--the Jemma Kidd in a compact and the Benefit one in a stick form, meaning that the Jemma Kidd one is a bit more stippling brush friendly, but there's no reason why you couldn't first apply to the skin, then blend with a brush for the Benefit.
Formula wise, the Jemma Kidd has much more of a velvety, dare I say, oily texture, whereas the the Benefit one is far more of a creamy texture. In fact, I think I may like the more sticky quality of the Benefit, where as, sometimes, the Jemma Kidd just seems likes it's sliding off my face, but it also means it's easier to blend.
Nevertheless, my favorite part and why I fell in love with Dewy Glow in the first place was the color. With Watt's Up! on the left and Dewy Glow on the right, you can see that they are very, very similar. If anything, the Jemma Kidd has a hint more orange, whereas the Benefit one is a tad more pink, nevertheless, they appear the same on the skin.
So--Jemma Kidd, we miss you dearly, but the hole in our hearts are slightly smaller now that we have a replacement. The only problem? How do I choose which one to slap on daily? Houston, we have a problem....
Monday, September 9, 2013
Sundays rock. They're the only excuse I have for lounging in my pajamas post noon, an excuse to vehemently enjoy waffles while in bed, a wicked mix of YouTube uploads (Vivianna, never stop displaying new videos on this day), and Sundays also mean I can relax under the covers, movie rolling, and nail polishes at the ready. Sounds dreamy, non? I know--you're still reminiscing from yesterday and I'm sure you're thinking this post is a day late, but it's not. In fact, I'm doing an act of courtesy. So, we all can't forget that it's currently monday, and we also plead that it would quicken up, but I'm giving you six days to get you're hands on the Bumble and bumble Sunday Shampoo, just in time for your next weekend-wrap-up wash.Now, I know that I'm not the only one that rolls out a pamper session on a sunday night, not to mention a detox shampoo. This offering from Bumble and bumble has been oomping my hair ever since it's welcome placement in my bathroom.
The weekly or general pep-up shampoo rids hair of product residue, hard water minerals, pollutants, and the rest of the gunk that makes your hair look 'blah'.
I do wash my hair daily, but I couldn't help but lust of this treatment option from Bumble and bumble. My hair isn't particularly oily, but it isn't quite dry, either, so concern of a possible frizzy and brittle outcome, not to mention irritated scalp, post wash isn't particularly out of sorts. But think again. Come morning, my hair just looked better--what a wonderful description.
My locks felt über clean, but not squeaky, looked surprisingly healthier, have never felt so soft, my scalp felt more calmed, and my follicles appeared as smooth as a baby's bum. I know the result sounds dreamy, but wait until I tell you about how it performed under the tap.
Firstly, the scent, because you know how I have a picky nose. Not sweet, not musky, and not perfumey, for lack of a better description, it smells clean. Nevertheless, don't float your mind into a disinfectant spray waft, but think more citrus, ginger, cucumber, and herbal. Sounds good enough to be a non-virgin drink.
Bumble and bumble are masters at ingredient mixology, and their once weekly offering is no exception. With 'panax ginseng root extract' to play astringent, 'rosemary leaf extract' to stimulate the scalp, and offer some anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, 'sage leaf extract' for some further tingling action, and 'tetrasodium EDTA' as a detox agent--and now things are starting to get too sciencey. Alas, all combine to make a new weekly staple in my stash that has a dreamy, dreamy lather.
Have I taunted you enough? Well, I'm giving you just under a week to go and get your own bottle of Sunday Shampoo to make next monday a little bit brighter. In the mean time, I'll try to apprehend from lathering in another dose tonight...and the next...and the next. Oh--Sunday, hurry up already.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Trois (or 'three' as us English speaking lads say it)--often vouched as a magic number. Whether you're into the 'crystal ball' stuff or simply wish upon it in hopes of a tub of Ben and Jerry's appearing before your eyes (now, we're talking...), I'm dishing upon the third offering of my week's most loved, containing three products...no pun intended.
I'll separate it into three categories: the rediscovered, the new love, and the 'holy grail' status. And I won't torture you any longer....
First--the 'holy grail' status product that has a little bit of a story behind it (I know--you love these). A few months back, my much loved, yet floozie-d product, the Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Oil Free, ran out and all I knew was that I wanted rose hip seed oil as its replacement. I was in New York at the time, and as much as I wanted to ship the Trilogy one from the other side of the pond or track down the Pai, I needed one pronto, so I snuck into the local grocery store and found the Aura Cacia Rose hip Seed Oil. I used it for a considerable amount of time, and didn't think it was that great until.... I was in a spendy mood and (let me just say) I realized I have more gift cards and cash than I know what to do with--first world problems (and I told you I'm a saver). So, based on Caroline Hiron's recommendation, I picked up the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream. The packaging, texture, and pump were gorgeous, but it wrecked havock on my skin. I broke out...shocking. When I finally realized that it could have been down to the Goat Milk Creme, I set it down and reached for the rose hip oil...again. It's been a week now since I've put down the Somerville and I've had no spots since and my scars are parting quickly. What's the point? Well, I returned the Goat Milk yesterday, and rose hip seed oil has risen to top ranks (did I mention that it's under fifteen dollars...).
Phew--now that the sob story is over, we can get back to business. Makeup wise, I've been experimenting with a few new products, and the one that has gotten my seal of approval is the Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer*. Yes, it's the new love, but with slight smoothing properties, keeping makeup adhered all day (as in past the eight hour mark!), and oil wicking, I haven't put it down since.
The rediscovered favorite is NARS Deep Throat. Although NARS doesn't aid in keeping 'Parisian To Be' G-rated (perhaps I'll stretch it to PG...) it's peachy pink offering is a stunner. Although it appears vibrantly pink in the pan, on the cheeks, it eeks out a bit more peach so that you're not looking Barbie doll, but more naturally healthy without a hint of red. Plus, the added shimmer can't harm, non?
Alas, I've delivered on completing your reminiscence-ful story time for the day and, hopefully, given you some things to add to your wishlist. Don't tell me I'm not good to you.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Oh, Bumble and Bumble--you've stolen my heart. From your creamy, cocoa collection, to your 'Surf' mantra, or, most recently, you're 'Thickening' offering, you're the topic of many day and night dreams.
Yes, I attended a Bumble and Bumble event--how 'beauty blogger' of me. The purpose? To celebrate the extension of their 'Thickening' line.
The attendees were offered a fifteen minute, hairstyling sesh where a Bumble and Bumble-trained stylist added some oomph to our signature locks and recommended some of Bb's own products. My style? The master curled my hair with a straightening iron (using a technique that I, in no way, could recreate at home) and finished it off with a few spritzes of the Dry Spun Finish...simples.
To entertain us party-goers, Bumble and Bumble hired one of their top stylists to demonstrate how to achieve runway ready hairstyles...literally. Also, the addition of horderves and cocktails aided in making the event that much more special.
Now onto the part you've all been waiting for--the product info. Firstly, I can vouch on a first hand account that Bumble and Bumble have taken massive pride in their products--so much so that their sheer exuberance makes me want to buy everything from their website...typical.
To achieve the complete, 'Thickening' look, Bb first instructs to begin with the Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, both made to make fine hair (i.e. my hair....) look and feel fuller, albeit, moisturizing without weight and healing split ends and frizz. Particularly, the Thickening Conditioner, contains a little extra oomph--silk powder. I know, I know...crazy, but it helps adds structure, fullness, gloss, and manageability to the hair. It also contains other proteins, to keep weak hair in tip top shape.
Now that you've got a good base that will have you looking Kate Moss-esque in no time, it's time for you to choose the rest--and you have a lot of options, may I add. Pre-blow dry, work the Thickening Full Form Mousse into your lengths-- cushiony creme mousse inflates hair as you add heat to lift, scuplt, and hold full-bodied silhouettes. Don't be fooled by the 'mousse' part, this isn't the slicking mousse you used as a kid (because we all used that, right?). Nevertheless, if the mousse thing doesn't float your boat, mist in the Thickening Hairspray. With more protein, this, that, and gibberish, the spray cues 'lift-off' for any hair type.
If you had the strength and patience to blow dry, kudos to you, but I certainly don't. That's why a reliant relationship between me and the Thickening post-dry products is pretty one-sided--I apply and they do the rest. Now, there's a plethora, but one that I've actually been able to try (and is currently sitting in my drawer) is the Dryspun Finish. Often compared to the Oribe Dry Texturizing spray, the translucent, dry spray achieves instant fullness and texture--again, with the addition of silk powder. If you're looking for more of a gel texture, BB has come out with a Creme Contour--a pliable, shaping cream to make polished and stay-all-day-ready locks.
So, there's the completion of the 'Thickening' line-up. Phew--I may need more than a few cocktails to get me through the whole look (blow dry included).
Luckily, Bumble and Bumble knows how much beauty bloggers lovveee goody bags, so they equipped each of us. With the Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, Hairspray, Dryspun Finish, Straight Blow Dry, and Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme, I'll keep you posted on my Bumble and Bumble-centric hair routine. Now--where are those mini chocolates, carried by the serveur?
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Chances are, the stuffy, jet experience, late nights, and indulgent meals will show one place. Non, it's not your waistline; it's your skin. The Aesop Parsley Seed Deep Cleansing Mask is one of my staples--during the lazy weeks or the bustled. Just apply and leave the rest to reveal über clean, decongested, yet balanced skin.
Now that you're covered on the deep cleansing front, it's time for some moisture--but who wants to slap on the rich creams when the thermometer is still striking high eighties? Instead, go for the glow with the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. It's called 'Radiance' and it delivers the same. In no time, your skin will look as runway ready as the models
Fashion week is the time to dig out those leather pants you're a bit too nervous to wear and those sky-high heels that just didn't feel right in the office. Makeup wise, I'll be digging out the eyeshadow...shocking. MAC Soba dishes up a golden-esque sheen and slight, smokey definition brushed and fluffed over the lids and under the lower lash line. Then, we'll be dosing up on the lashes. The most dramatic, yet non-clumpy mascara that I've got in my stash is the L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof. Yes--it's voluminous, and carbon black, but still imparts a much more oomph-ed up version of your natural lashings.
Chop and change the eye offerings to suit your preferences, but if there's one thing that has been spotted time and time again during Fashion Week, it's big brows. Naturally bushy gals, kudos to you, as you've got no need to fret and you're natural, spot-on, face accessories will have those sparse women running for the hills. Whether you've got a load of filling in on your radar or are simply in need of a few strokes here and there to deliver a more polished look, throw the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in your bag or in your makeup loot. The built-in spoolie means it's an on-the-go staple and the hard, yet waxy pencil will stay all day and keep your brows in tip, top condition.
Now, we're on the topic of perfume. For a lazy lass like me, it's too fussy to spritz on daily, but that means that it's evermore exciting for special occasions. My recent purchase and most complimented scent is Tocca Liliana--a fresh blend of fruity and floral, but with a base of musk and patchouli to even out the concoction into a sheerly chic match. Luckily, they also make a rollerball to throw in your bag.
Ready, set, showtime.... I may never have a modeling career in my future, but I'll have more fun pretending that I'm broadcasting the offering. Cheers, to the show. Now, where's my Valentino cocktail dress?
Monday, September 2, 2013
Back in the good ol' days--pre homework, spots, and life worthy decisions--pretending could be as easy as one, two, three, slapping on the nearest tiara, dress-up gown, or firefighter's helmet. Now that our ages have, somehow, creeped into the double digits, the action of 'dress up' is far harder to pull off, but it's still doable. Cue French Cares--a website, curated in France, that delivers the best of beauty Français to us living less chicly than the inhabitants.
The owner, brains behind the site, and purely chic person--Chloe--contacted me in concerns to her site, little did I know that frenchcares.com had my name written all over it.
Offering worldwide shipping, and the best in French beauty, I can't help but blow the klaxon about the online resource.
Chloe, being the babe that she is, offered to send me a few samples to complete my pretend French routine and add to the overall dress-up lifestyle.
Stereotypical, French brand, La Roche Posay, is one of the denizens on the website. Most often known for their acne skin savior, the Effaclar Duo, I got my hands on the more hydrating option--the La Roche Posay Hydraphase Serum*. With a clear, gel texture and quick absorbing properties, it's one for dehydrated or dry skins to add some oomph to the regular skin concerned routine.
Now, a serum and the rest of the skincare shebang is never complete without über clean skin. I'm a self professed fan of the double cleansing philosophy--one for makeup removal, and one to add a little something to the skin--and my first step has been hosted by a combination of two. First, the Bioderma Créaline H20* is my second bottle of the stuff (is that enough to convince that I love it?) and the travel sized, 100 milliliter bottle couldn't be more handy.
Waterproof makeup lovers, listen up. We won't pretend any longer that Bioderma works as much magic as it does on the face, but don't fret. Combine the same heart-eyed-emoji properties of the gentle Bioderma into an eye makeup remover than really gets the most of the waterproof muck off. The Klorane Floral Lotion Eye Makeup Remover*, not only has a gorgeous blue color, but gets the day's slap off for bedtime with a little holding and wiggling motions (no pulling and tugging here) and, also, has a pH level equivalent to that of human tears. Gentle, non?
Every country has their landmarks--both architecturally, gastronomically, and, simply, in stereotypical things that evoke a bit of international flair in our everyday lives. In America, some may be named as the McDonalds Big Mac, Sunday Night Football, and (quelle surprise) Sephora--the one bit of proof that our country isn't completely male dominated. In France, most envision la tour Eiffel, beaucoup de chocolate, et, aussi, vino--otherwise known as wine. Now, there's no wine without grapes, and, even for the virgin orderer, grapes are delicious. The Caudalie Grape Hand and Nail Creme*, of course, is gorgeous, both in it's subtle, yet sweet, chic scent and it's quickly vanishing, yet long-term moisturizing powers.
I do love a bit of Sephora loot, but my heart will always belong to the French pharmacy. Until my bank balance is replenished, I'll have to settle for the virtual version--frenchcares.com--lacking in tactile satisfaction, but, by no means, in charm *clicks 'check out' button*.
All of these products were sent to me for review purposes, thus they are all marked with an '*'. Yet, all views are my own. If you would like further information on the matter, feel free to read my 'Disclaimer'.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
To debrief - exfoliating toners are those that contain chemical, natural enzymes, etc. (no peach kernels here). You know the whole exfoliating acid craze, so, most often, they contain glycolic, salicylic, lactic, and other sorts. Not only do their buffing powers, literally buff to reveal brighter and newer skin underneath, but they also increase cell turnover, and, the key factor, lower your skin's pH. I'll try not to get too chemistry class on you, but the lower your skin's pH, the more bacteria fighting, spot ridding, and better it will look.
Previously, my toner crush was the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Toner, but the fact that it's pretty darn expensive and a pain in the bum to get in the US means that it was time for a breakup. Alas, rather quickly, I've gotten involved with the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion.
If I were to compare it to its Clarins alternate, I'd say that they're very similar. Their effectiveness? Nearly identical. I'd say the way they differ is in the texture. The Clarins is a much more wet, lotion like consistency. It only takes a little bit to wet the cotton pad, and, let alone cover your whole fact. In turn, you may need to wait a while before you carry on with the rest of your routine to give the toner a chance to dry and so your hands won't feel like they're swimming in product. The REN, on the other hand, is a much dryer consistency and I feel like I have to dump a bit more on the cotton pad to paint my visage. Nevertheless, the REN option is definitely better value for money (always what we're looking out for these days) and I find it is a bit more convenient considering you can slap and dash with the rest of your routine.
The Clarifying Toner is part of REN's range for combination skin, but I don't think that this should scare anyone with dry, oily, or (dare I say) mature skin, as I think that it doesn't really matter what kind of skin you have - everyone could use this. If you've got sensitive skin, I think that it would be fine, just use rarely and work your way up to a more regular application.
As for ingredients, you know this is why I loovvveee REN skincare, it consists of lavender and peppermint water, bergamot extract, willow bark extract, lactic acid, lemon and pineapple extracts, and glycolic, lactic, citric, and tartaric acids.
I use this toner day in and day out - night and day, but this may not work for everyone. Just conduct your own little experiment and figure out what works for you. Although I do use it pretty often, I've rid my routine of any other exfoliating treatments, as I find that I don't need them anymore and they, instead, reck havoc on my skin.
So, to generalize, if you haven't tried an exfoliating toner, pick up some samples and get trialling! Then again, you know how qualified I am, so I only speak from personal experience. Regard with caution, but you won't need gloves to apply the acids.