July 2018 Favorites – A Francophile’s Favorites – Part Deux

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Bonjour,

Seeing that Bastille Day, a French National Holiday, took place in July, I thought it only fitting to share more of my favorite French products for this month. These are the products from France that I have been loving for the month of July.

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Le Petite Marseillais Shower Creams/Body Washes

What They Say: Le Petit Marseillais™, the #1 body wash brand in France, is a beloved bath and body line born in the South of France. Our body wash, lotions and soap are all inspired by the scents and sun-kissed ingredients of Provence.

Le Petit Marseillais™ Lavender Honey Body Wash gently cleans your skin. It’s smooth and easy to rinse foam reveals a sweet and romantic fragrance. Leaves skin feeling moisturized and nourished.

The extra gentle pH neutral formula makes this body wash suitable for everyday use.

Paraben free. Phthalate free.

My Review: First off, I love the size of these shower gels, especially because they are only $4.50 a bottle. The scents are lovely but not overpowering. I have the Orange Blossom, Vanilla Milk and Lavender. The Lavender scent is by far my most favorite.

They leave the skin feeling soft and hydrated without stripping and drying skin like most soaps do. I can’t wait to try these as a bubble bath since they lather up nicely in the shower. I’m sure they will make a lovely bubbly bath.

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Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

What They Say: Mustela’s best selling daily-moisturizing Hydra Bébé Body Lotion provides immediate and long-lasting moisture for your baby’s skin.

Formulated with an elixir of plant-based ingredients including Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamins E and F, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, and our signature Avocado Perseose, Hydra Bébé Body Lotion protects and strengthens the skin

My Review: I know, you’re probably thinking “A baby lotion?! Huh?” but hear me out. I used to work in a luxury beauty store where we stocked this French baby line. Many mothers would come in to stock up on this stuff and swore by this product for themselves as well. It’s 97% natural ingredients. If it is gentle enough for baby’s skin, why not ours?

This leaves the skin super hydrated, nourished and protected. It does have a slight baby powder smell but that dies away quickly as the product is absorbed and you are left with super soft skin.

Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion

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L’Occitane Hand Creams

What They Say: One of our best-selling Shea Butter Hand Creams is sold every three seconds around the world! Enriched with 20% organic Shea Butter, this super-creamy balm penetrates quickly to protect, nourish and moisturize hands. Honey, almond extracts and coconut oil are blended with Shea Butter to create this extremely effective formula. Considered a “beauty must-have” by many, this “life-changing” hand cream is essential for home, work and on-the-go.

My Review: The original L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is the number one selling hand cream in the world, so you know you can’t go wrong. I also really love the other scented ones. They are not as hydrating as the Original, but they still do an amazing job at leaving my hands super soft.  I love that the scents are very light and not overpowering at all, so they don’t fight with whatever fragrances I’m wearing.

I love these so much that I have multiples and keep them everywhere; my bag, my car, in the living room and in my nightstand.

L’Occitane Hand Creams

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Phyto Haircare Phytopaisant and Phytobaume

What They Say: Fascinated by nature, Patrick Ales decided to study the power of plants,
their history of use in traditional medicine, and the role they might play
to reveal hair’s natural beauty. It was finding ways to rescue his clients’ dry,
bleached-out locks in the sixties that inspired his first products. In 1967, he created PHYTOTHÉRATHRIE*, a ground-breaking concept of treating hair through plants,
and to this day inseparable to the brand identity.

My Review: Moving to Florida, my skin, hair and scalp freaked out and did a total 180 on how they reacted to the climate and products. I found my scalp had become very sensitive, irritated and dried out. I remembered that years ago, a salon I had worked at carried the Phyto Haircare products and I had loved them.

The shampoo, Phytopaisant, does a great job at cleansing my hair without drying out my scalp. In fact, my scalp has been less sensitive since switching over to this shampoo. The conditioner, Phytobaume, is very hydrating but light weight. It helps my hair to be soft and manageable without weighting it down. My hair has been shinier, smoother and my scalp less irritated since going back to using these. A true lifesaver.

Phyto Haircare

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Givenchy Dalia Divin Eau de Toilette

What They Say: Like a Haute Couture gown, this fragrance envelops you in freshness and sensual softness that reveals the divine within you. Like a custom-made Givenchy creation, Dahlia Divin Eau de Toilette is an exquisitely refined, multi-faceted fragrance. The scent envelopes the skin with a fresh and soft sensuality, and like a golden haute couture gown, leaves you feeling divine.

Top notes of blood orange and peach, the heart is composed of rose and jasmine and the base notes are sandalwood, vanilla and musk.

My Review: I went in to try some other Givenchy perfumes but kept being drawn back to this one. It has all of my favorite notes: rose, jasmine, sandalwood, vanilla and musk. I don’t get the crispness of the fruit with this one though.

I find this to be a very sensual scent that is perfect for date night or a special event, or really just any time you want. It is warm and comforting. My only complaint is the wearability, because I feel like after a few hours I can no longer smell it. I might try this in the Eau de Parfum to see if the stronger version will stay on the skin a bit longer.

Givenchy Dalia Divin

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Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick

What They Say: Enhance your lip look with Givenchy’s Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick. This unique formula is infused with black rose oil, a rare and precious active ingredient that delivers extreme moisture and comfort to the lips for hours. It is combined with a silicone resin that forms a shiny, thin, and supple film on the lips’ surface for a second-skin feel. Lips are left with a “vinyl” radiance and a filling effect: lips instantly appear fuller, smoother, and denser. Each high-shine color blurs away all the lips’ tiniest imperfections and reflects the light, and its slick case features a metallic, satin ribbon design that’s inspired by the House’s fashion designs.

My Review: I love using this just by itself, so I can’t speak to it’s color changing effects when applied over other lip products. I love how hydrating it is for the lips. It keeps my lips smooth and plumped for a long period of time. It is black but goes on more clear and I haven’t noticed any color change to my natural lip color. Plus the packaging is just so chic. I carry this everywhere now and it has become my favorite moisturizing lip product.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Color Enhancing Lipstick

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The Little French Bistro by Nina George

What They Say: Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage.  After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as “the end of the world.”

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life’s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it’s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

My Review: It has been my dream for decades to just sell everything and run away to live a simple life in France. Maybe somewhere by the seaside working in a cafe or owning my  own business. Or maybe owning a vineyard, growing grapes to sell to the local wineries.

I would wake up and after having my coffee and croissant, travel through my small village where my neighbors are more than neighbors, they are family. A simple French life with good people, good food and good times.

This book is like someone took my dream and put it on paper. I read this book in one day because I was so in love with this wacky cast of characters. The way the book is written, it is like poetry, you can actually place yourself into each chapter and feel as if you are there. I love this one so much that I can’t wait to pick up more books by Nina George.

 

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Netflix’s Documentary – Chef’s Table: France

What They Say: Sample the bold new flavors of France with chefs who are pushing the boundaries of fine dining and reinventing a rich culinary tradition.

My Review: This series ties into the book I mentioned above actually. I love seeing how these French chefs are evolving food as we know it. They find new ways to use food to create masterpieces that are pure edible art.

My favorite episode was on Alexandre Coullion and his restaurant Le Marine in the small seaside village, Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, France. The way he talked of food and used locally sourced vegetables and seafood was very reminiscent of the cafe in The Little French Bistro I mentioned above. I’m definitely adding a meal at Le Marine to my bucket list.

 

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Suzy Salidor

Suzy Salidor was someone I discovered while looking for some French music on iTunes. But her rich history drew me in even more than her voice. Early in 1930, she became a popular singer and opened a chic nightclub, in Paris, called La Vie Parisienne. It was unheard of for a woman to own a nightclub but La Vie Parisienne was the most popular during the time.

She also lived a very daring life because she was openly lesbian. Salidor is also known as the most painted woman in history. During her life she was painted and collected portraits of herself by some of the world’s most famous artists including Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Tamara de Lempicka, Marie Laurencin, Francis Picabia and Kees van Dongen.

Her voice is beautiful and I really love listening to her sing some of France’s most popular jazz songs.

Let me know what you fell in love with for the month of July in the comments. And don’t forget to check out the video below to learn more about my thoughts on these items.

Au revoir,

Beauty Empties – Sample Sized. Would I Buy These Full Sized? Slay or Nay?

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I receive so many samples and deluxe sample sized products to try that I thought I would do a “Beauty Empty” video and post to share if these products are ones that I would actually go purchase the full sized version. So in this post, I’ll give you my honest opinion on these products and if I would actually spend my money on purchasing the full sized version.

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Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water

What They Say: A two-in-one cleanser that uses a mix of micellar water and oil to thoroughly cleanse the face and eyes from stubborn hard-to-remove, long-wear, and waterproof makeup. This quick-acting, no-rinse, two-in-one face and eye makeup remover uses a blend of micellar water and marula oil to remove both long-wear and waterproof makeup. Marula oil boosts radiance, nourishes, softens, and protects the skin without drying it out.

My Review: I’m a huge fan of micellar waters and think they are a nice way to cleanse the skin on a daily basis, when perhaps you don’t need a deeper cleanse. This one was absolutely lovely. I think it cleansed my skin very well and the marula oil left my skin glowing, smooth and very hydrated. I often use a hydrating toner/facial mist after using a foaming cleanser but didn’t feel like I needed that additional step when using this. So that’s a huge benefit for me.

Slay or Nay: SLAY!!

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water

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Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

What They Say: This nourishing makeup remover + cleansing balm gently melts away stubborn makeup and impurities caused by pollution, without stripping skin. Cleanse effortlessly and indulge your senses with this balm-to-oil formula that smells like summer! A bestseller and an Allure Best of Beauty award winner.

My Review: While I really did love the way this left my skin feeling, I’m not crazy about the texture. After cleansing with this, my skin felt amazing; very clean, smooth, protecting and nourished. I think I might just have to get used to the texture of this and how it feels while using the product to cleanse the skin.

I did find that I loved this a bit more when I did the Korean Double Cleanse method and followed this up with my Guerlain Ochidee Cleansing Foam.

Slay or Nay: The jury is still out!

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm 

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I Dew Care Mini Meow Trio Mini Chrome Masks

What They Say: I Dew Care Mini Meow Trio allows you to mix and mask, creating a personalized routine to target your specific skin concerns. Space Kitten, a sparkling black mask, exfoliates. Sugar Kitten, a transformative color-changing mask, hydrates. Disco Kitten, a chrome, brings back your glow. Use one at a time or apply multiple masks to targeted areas.

My Review: While I did try all three masks in this set, Space Kitten was the only one that I actually really loved. It did a great job at cleansing my skin, clearing out dirt and impurities from my pores and leaving my skin radiant and clear. The other two were kind of duds and I really didn’t notice anything from using them.

I’m on the hunt to find a similar, cruelty free mask that is similar to Space Kitten.

Slay or Nay: Nay

I Dew Care Mini Meow Trio Mini Chrome Masks

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Biossance Squalene Peptide Eye Gel

What They Say: This peptide-rich gel formula works hard to give your eyes a well-rested look. Just a drop helps calm the look of puffiness and other signs of irritation to keep your eyes looking bright.

My Review: I received these samples from the company to try; you can pick samples to try and order from them and you just pay the shipping. I really loved this eye gel and its one of the best I’ve used in a long time. It left my eye area smooth and lifted. It also did a great job at minimizing puffiness and dark circles in the eye area.

Slay or Nay: Slay!!

Biossance Squalene Peptide Eye Gel

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

What They Say: A luxurious face oil that visibly brightens, firms, and evens skin tone. Biossance combined the weightless hydration of the sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil with the brightening power of vitamin C, plus rose oil—revered for centuries to reduce the look of lines and wrinkles. Just a drop or two of this exquisite oil delivers exceptionally soft, smooth, and radiantly healthy-looking skin.

My Review: I’ve been on the hunt for a good Vitamin C serum lately. I somehow have gotten away from using one, and miss the benefits of using one for my skin. This Vitamin C Rose Oil from Biossance is truly amazing. Even thought it is an oil, it is very light-weight and absorbs into the skin quickly so you can continue on with your routine and putting other products on top.

Even with just a few uses, this left my skin look more refined, brighter and radiant. There are a few other Vitamin C serums that I’m curious to try, but honestly I will probably be purchasing a full size of this one.

Slay or Nay: Slay!!

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

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Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale The Eye and Lip Contour Cream

What They Say: An anti-aging eye and lip cream for day and night. Both during the day and at night, the skin has specific needs. In the daytime, the skin protects itself against aggressions while at night it regenerates. The The Eye and Lip Contour Cream contains Chrono-Response™ complex to adapt to the skin’s natural rhythms. During the day, it hydrates, smooths, and enhances the eye area. At night, the cream detoxifies, soothes, and targets small white spots around the eyes.

My Review: I received these in a discovery set when I bought the Orchidee Imperiale Face Cream. Both my husband and I loved this, as well as the Longevity Concentrate mentioned below. This really minimized fine lines around the eyes, left the eye feeling lifted and even got rid of dark circles.

Slay or Nay: Slay!! There is a good chance I will be purchasing the full sized version of this.

GUERLAIN by Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Exceptional Complete Care Eye & Lip Cream-/0.5OZ for WOMEN” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale The Eye and Lip Contour Cream

Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Longevity Concentrate

What They Say: An exceptional replenishing concentrate to improve visible signs of aging and restore vitality to even the most tired skin. Orchidée Impériale Longevity Concentrate utilizes cutting-edge technologies born from over 15 years of research within the Orchidarium: gold orchid technology and seleno-activator. Day after day, the powerful formula improves visible signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles, firmness, evenness, and density for a brighter, smoother, and healthier-looking complexion.

My Review: As mentioned above, I received this in a discovery set when I purchased the full size of the Orchidee Imperiale face cream. This anti-aging serum is beautiful. It definitely left my skin feeling smoother and more lifted. It’s like a face lift in a bottle. Both my husband and I really loved this product and noticed a big change in our skin due to using it.

Slay or Nay: Slay, but I won’t be purchasing the full size due to it’s high price point.

GUERLAIN by Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Exceptional Complete Care Longevity Concentrate -/1OZ for WOMEN” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Longevity Concentrate

Guerlain Meteorites Primer Perfecting Pearls Base

What They Say: Météorites Primer smooths and color-corrects your skin tone for a radiant complexion. Infused with a delicate violet scent, it’s formulated with Guerlain’s signature Stardust Technology: a unique complex encapsulating a celestial powder that transforms light invisible to the naked eye into visible and soft-focus perfecting light to blur imperfections and provide exceptional radiance. The fresh gel texture melts with the rosy pearls to give skin a radiant and glowing finish, while neutralizing excess sebum for a long-lasting matte complexion. Highly concentrated pearls containing multi-colored, micro-shimmer particles amplify light reflection to create an illuminating, color-corrective light for your complexion. The absorbent powders neutralize excess oil while a special polymer helps to fade imperfections and smooth fine lines for a long-lasting, matte and even complexion.

My Review: Reviews I read on this product, made me really want to fall in love with it. I used it alone, with the Meteorites powder on top, with a BB Cream and even with a foundation. I do think it does a great job at matifying the skin and giving a “lit from within” glow to your skin. It also did really well at keeping other products on without pilling, etc.

I only wish that it did a better job at color correcting, reducing redness and minimizing pores, which are my main concerns I need to address when choosing a primer. I don’t wear foundation or powder, so I’m on the hunt for a great primer that can be worn alone to address these concerns. I’m going to give this one a few more tries though.

Slay or Nay: The jury is still out.

Guerlain Météorites Primer Perfecting Pearls Base

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L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil

What They Say: A multi-usage face oil that helps fight against visible signs of aging. The Immortelle Divine Youth Oil helps fight visible signs of aging for a skin texture that appears replenished, as if plumped from within.

My Review: I’m a huge fan of face oils and I actually really loved this one. It is very light weight and absorbs nicely into the skin. My skin was left more plumped, fine lines were minimized and skin was glowing and more radiant.

Slay or Nay: Slay!! I will definitely be purchasing the full size of this product.

L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil

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YSL Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris EDT

What They Say: Grapefruit, Datura, Rose flower, Patchouli. Love takes flight with this fresh, luminous version of the iconic scent. The sparkling white floral fragrance of the original Mon Paris Eau de Parfum is transformed into an ultra-luminous floral citrus. A citrus start with juicy grapefruit and raspberry notes brings about a new fruity freshness. The delicate floral heart of white flowers from the signature Eau de Parfum is romanced by orange blossom for a scent that evokes the lighter side of love.

My Review: I’m branching out and cheating on my Guerlain fragrances, so I decided to try this after smelling it in Ulta. The scent is very sweet and fruity at first but dries down to a lovely, soft floral that also has the earthiness of the Patchouli. It is a beautiful scent that I could imagine wearing on special date nights or just any time really.

Slay or Nay: Slay!! I’m actually planning already to buy this in the full sized version.

MON PARIS YSL by Yves Saint Laurent EDT SPRAY 3 OZ for WOMEN” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>YSL Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris EDT

Thanks for popping by to read my thoughts on these products. Overall, I found some new loves that I’ll definitely be purchasing. Samples are a great way to try out new products without the investment. For more on my thoughts on these products check out the video below and let me know some of your new beauty discoveries in the comments.

Au revoir!

My Top 7 Beauty Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Steals & Deals

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The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one of my absolute favorite times of the year for beauty product shopping. You can score some really great deals, especially from the Beauty department. If you are unfamiliar with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, let me lay it out for you.

Once a year, Nordstrom as a huge sale store wide for their Anniversary. Many brands not only offer discounts on their products (and this is usually the only time you can get discounts on Beauty products at Nordstrom) but they always have some sort of free gift with purchase during this time as well.

This year the sale runs from July 20 through August 5th but if you are a Nordstrom cardmember you can gain access to the sale right now! Below I’ve selected some of my top picks from the sale. These are brands and products that I love and would definitely purchase during the sale.
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I love Jo Malone’s fragrances and this little set is a great way to be introduced to the brand. The Jo Malone fragrances and body products are great to layer over each other to create your own unique scent. This set includes English Pear & Freesia, Peony & Blush Suede and Blackberry & Bay. All beautiful scents by themselves but can make some wonderfully interesting scents when combined.

$60 value for $45

Jo Malone London Discovery Collection

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I just love the beautiful shades of this lip set from Charlotte Tilbury. In this set you receive one Matt lipstick shade, exclusive to Nordstrom, in Rose Kiss, a hydrating lipstick in a rosey satin finish, also an exclusive, called Blushing Dream and a long wearing, smudge proof liner called Pillow Talk. This pinky nudes will be create the perfect pout for any summer look. Plus, the rose gold packaging is adorable.

$90 value for $60

Charlotte Tilbury The Pretty Pink Lipstick Set

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Diptyque candles from France are some of my favorite, but with the price of an individual candle they are more of a treat. This set is such a great deal as you receive an assortment of five smaller sized candles. The set includes mostly florals such as Roses Candle, Tubereuse Candle, Figuier Candle, Feu de Bois Candle and my favorite the Baies Candle.

 

$75 value for $55

diptyque Candle Set

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Anastasia of Beverly Hills is the queen when it comes to brow shaping and brow products. I love these two and have used them frequently, so this set is a great deal. This scent includes the retractable Brow Wiz pencil with spoolie and the Clear Brow Gel for achieving those perfect brows.

 

$43 value for $28

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo

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Now I have to admit that I’ve never tried any of the skincare from Herbivore but I’ve been dying to. I see them all over Instagram and they just look amazing. This three piece set includes their most popular (and most Instagrammed) products: the Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème, the Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Glow Mask and the Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist. This super hydrating set is perfect for all skin types and is vegan and cruelty free. I absolutely have to get my hands on this set.

 

$76 value for $52

Herbivore Botanicals Rosewater + Gemstone Trio

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Ok, I’ll be totally honest and say I picked this one just because of the supercute cupcake pouch. This set includes a Glimmer Balm and a Glossy Boss gloss. I’ve never heard of this brand before but had to include it because of the pouch alone. I mean, come on, it’s a cupcake. This brand is also cruelty-free.

 

$42 value for $26

Windy Lux Sweet Set

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Now this last pick is actually a brand I used to work with. Elemis has amazing skincare that utilizes Mediterranean marine algae. This cream is amazing at smoothing, firming and revitalizing skin. It is truly an amazing anti-aging moisturizer. Elemis is also a company that does not test their products on animals. This set is almost a 50% savings on the cream. This is definitely a steal!

 

$256 value for $172

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Duo

Let me know in the comments if you are going to hit the Nordstrom Anniversary sale what you plan on picking up!

 

 

*All photos are from Nordstrom.com and I have used them here for educational purposes. Links are non affiliate links.

 

June 2018 Favorites – A Francophile’s Favorites & A Giveaway

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Favorite videos and posts are well…some of my favorites. They are my favorite to make and to watch/read. As July 14th is Bastille Day, a big holiday and celebration in France, I thought I would make my June and July Favorites all about my favorite country, France. So for these two months I will share some of my favorite French products that I’ve been loving and obsessing over.

Beauty Products

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L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Eye Balm

What they say: The Precious Eye Balm offers a velevty, soft formula to help smooth and firm, and visibly reduce dark circles and puffiness.

My Review: This is one of the best eye creams I think I’ve ever tried. The texture is very light, somewhere between a heavy balm and a milky cream. It glides on the skin very effortlessly and instantly brightens. I have definitely felt that after using this for two weeks my eye area seems smoother, more lifted and much brighter.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

What they say: Cleanses softly and helps to hydrate and nourish the skin all-day-long with almond oil.

My Review: This is heaven in a bottle! The oil turns to a foaming cleanser when it makes contact with water so it takes the place of shower gels that can often be too drying. You can even use this to shave in the shower. The scent is sweet and warm, leaving your skin soft and smooth all day long. The scent is light enough to be there without being overpowering. This is going to be a holy grail bath and body product now.

www.loccitane.com

Guerlain Blurring Active Primer

What they say: Blurring Active Base, the smoothing primer by Guerlain, instantly blurs the appearance of pores and allows skin texture to look more refined day after day, while mattifying the complexion for perfect skin all day long. Its fresh and non-greasy texture allows the skin to breathe while prolonging make-up hold. Its formula contains an antioxidant for an anti-pollution effect*, and improves the appearance of the skin and helps to preserve it** against daily aggressions.

My review: I’m not someone who wears foundation but I do like my skin to look it’s best. I’m a big fan of skincare and using great skincare to make our skin look incredible, instead of covering it up with a bunch of makeup products. However, there are those days where we just want a little something extra to help our skin look flawless. On these days where maybe my skin texture looks off, or I’m a little red, I like to use blurring primers.

I recently discovered this one from one of my favorite Beauty brands, Guerlain. The texture is a little thick, but glides on the skin easily. It really minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines, giving me a more even textured look. It is great at helping to matify the skin as well, keeping me shine free all day long. I’ve used BB creams and bronzers over this and those products apply nicely and stay put pretty much all day. I even like wearing this alone to give a more flawless look to skin.

Guerlain Blurring Active Primer

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Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Parfum

What they say:  Inspired by the passionate love story between an emperor and an Indian princess, Shalimar, which means “temple of love” in Sanskrit, symbolises the promise of eternal love forevermore. It is a fragrance of desire. With its smouldering and slightly impertinent character, the star oriental fragrance in perfumery embodies skin-caressing sensuality with a hint of the forbidden. “Wearing Shalimar means letting your senses take over,” Jacques Guerlain would say.

In 1925, the Shalimar bottle designed by Raymond Guerlain won first prize at the Paris Decorative Arts Exhibition. Its curves were inspired by the basins of the famous Shalimar gardens. The fan stopper with its sapphire transparency recalls the garden’s eternally gushing water.

My review: This perfume is a classic and I think we all maybe grew up with one woman in our life that had this on her vanity. My grandmother used this fragrance and the scent always evokes memories of her getting ready.

I find this to be a very unique and beautiful fragrance, unlike any other I’ve ever smelled. At first the scent is strong but it does dry down to a beautiful, powdery incense like scent. The top notes of flowers and bergamot give a crisp freshness to the scent. The heart of Shalimar includes powdery florals like iris, jasmine and rose. The base notes lend to the softness of the scent on the final dry down. These include tonka bean and vanilla. Truly a beautiful fragrance.

Shalimar by Guerlain

Lifestyle

Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer 

My review: I’m really not a fan of carrying a bunch of stuff in my pockets, which is usually why I carry a bag of some sort. This goes for wallets too. I hate having a bulky and heavy wallet in my pocket.

I’ve always been a Louis Vuitton fan and when I came across this pocket organizer I knew I had found the perfect wallet for me. This slim organizer has just enough slots for me to carry a little cash, my ID and a few credit cards. I keep it pretty close to empty so I don’t overpower it’s slimness. It fits easily in a bag or even my pocket, without being bulky and annoying.

Also, I try not buy too many leather products, and this is a waxed canvas, so I feel better about this purchase. My Pocket Organizer is in the Monogram Eclipse pattern, which to me looks very chic and manly.

Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer Monogram Eclipse Canvas

Books

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The Private Life of Marie Antoinette by Madame Campan

I don’t know why I have this obsession for Marie Antoinette, but I’ve had it for years. In fact in sixth grade, I did a report on her. But she is one of my favorite people in history. I do think she is one of the most misunderstood people in history and sadly was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This book is the memoir of one of her ladies in waiting, Madame Campan, who details Marie Antoinette’s arrival at Versailles and all of the struggles she endured while reigning as the Queen of France. It’s a fascinating read as it’s from a first person point of view of someone who actually lived beside Marie Antoinette during this time. I learned a lot more about her through this book. If you are interested in Marie Antoinette, the French Revolution or French History in general, I highly recommend picking up this book.

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

Another favorite person in history that I adore is Yves Saint Laurent. I’ve been fan of his and the brand for years. He was such an interesting person and created some new and unusual trends for his time.

This book is well researched and details the friendship between the two rising stars of French Fashion, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. Their relationship is what we would now call “frenemies”. It’s interesting to learn more about these two amazing designers and how they broke into international fashion fame.

Documentaries

Versailles 73

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Battle at Versailles

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Both of these documentaries were ones that I discovered on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The funny thing is that they are both about the same event in history. In 1973, fashion influence, Eleanor Lambert decided to host a Fashion Battle at the Versailles Palace.

At this time the palace was falling down and in desperate need of repairs. The Fashion Battle was to be a fundraiser to raise the funds to help restore Versailles to it’s former splendor. The Fashion Show pitted American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Anne Klein and Bill Blass) against French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Emmanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Hubert de Givenchy).

Both documentaries have amazing footage and interviews with people that worked on the show, with the designers and even some of the models. While both are interesting, I actually preferred Battle at Versailles because it has more in depth reviews with the people who were there.

That is what I’m loving for the month of June. I’ll be doing a Francophile’s Favorites Part Deux as I share what I’m loving for the month of July. Coming soon! But for now, you can hear more about my thoughts on these products in the video below. I am hosting a small giveaway as well, so make sure to watch the video for the details about how to enter the giveaway.

au revoir!

3 Steps to the Perfect Everyday Contour Look

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It’s pretty common in today’s beauty world to see the overdone contour and highlight look like the picture above. Some beauty influencers try to achieve that flawless, Instagram filtered look by painting their faces for the back row. This is one of my least favorite Beauty Trends and it’s time for it to stop! No more contouring like a Drag Queen to go run errands!

Unless you’re an actor on stage or a Drag Queen, contouring and highlighting should be about enhancing your natural beauty and features, not covering them up. In this post I’m going  to share some simple steps to achieve an everyday contour look that enhances your features. If you are new to contouring and highlighting this will be a perfect post to help get you started.

What is Contouring and Highlighting?

Contouring is using darker makeup to create shadows on the face that soften features and create depth. These can be features that you want to pull away from view or soften and hide them a little. For instance, you can use contouring to slim a nose and to soften a strong jaw line.

Highlighting is using light to bring those features forward that you would like to be more noticeable. For most people this is a way to make the cheekbones more prominent.

1. Contouring and Highlighting Products

There are typically two types of contouring and highlighting products you can use: cream and powder products. You may often see people on YouTube using both. You absolutely do not need to use both to achieve an everyday look. Most of these YouTubers are painting their faces under harsh and bright lighting so they want the colors to stand out. In my opinion this is too much for everyday and I recommend using one or the other.

Cream products are better for drier skin types, as the creams can often shift on oily skin causing a muddy look to your contour. Although there are some great cream to powder or cream to matte products. Setting your creams with a setting powder can help then stay put a bit longer as well.

I prefer using contouring and highlighting powders. These have a more matte finish, work better on oilier skins and tend to stay put and wear longer than most creams.

2. Consider Your Skin Tone

The Beauty community really needs to stop going too dark or too light with the contouring. It’s pretty common to see people using contouring products that are way too dark or using too light or even white concealers to highlight.

For contouring I recommend using a shade that is one to two shades darker than your own skin tone. I really like using bronzers for contouring as it also adds some warmth to the skin.

When highlighting you can use a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your natural skin color, but don’t go any lighter. Concealer is meant to conceal! I recommend using highlighting powders to add that glow and enhance features, instead of too light concealer.

3. Application Steps

How and where you apply the products will be determined based on your face shape and features. Take a look at your face without makeup and think about what features you want to soften and which ones you want to highlight.

  • Apply your foundation and concealer as normal.
  • To enhance your cheekbones first create a hollow underneath the cheekbone.
  • Suck in your cheekbones and swipe your contour color under the cheekbone.
  • I like to work down from the temple to just about an inch or two to the corner of the mouth or to the center of the cheek.
  • To slim the bridge of your nose, dust your contour color down the sides of the nose blending down to the tip of your nose and up towards your brows or even blending into the transition color of your eyeshadows.
  • To soften a jawline, swipe your contour color just along the jawline and blend downwards onto the neck.
  • Highlight where you want light to hit the face and pull features forward, such as top of cheeks, brow bone, center of the chin, bridge and tip of nose and the center of the forehead.
  • Add your cheek color and any other makeup you may be applying to finish your look.
  • Set and diffuse with your setting powder, see the video below for more on diffusing your contour and highlight.
  • Make sure all products are seamlessly blended in and blended together so there are no harsh lines to the look.

I hope this post helped you learn a bit more about contouring and highlighting and how to use it for an everyday look. Help me banish the beauty trend of too much makeup! If you need more information or tips for application, check out the tutorial video below.