Best 2018 Beauty Advent Calendars

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Soap and Glory Advent Calendar

Soap and Glory is a company that I used to be obsessed with but have strayed a bit from. However, this advent calendar makes me want to fall back in love with this fun and flirty brand. First off, their packaging is pink! I just know this set is going to be filled with their amazing body butters, fragrance mists and hand creams.

 

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Kiehls Advent Calendar

This fun set from Kiehls features some of the top selling products like Creme de Corps and the Midnight Recovery Serum. Kiehls has top notch skincare so we are sure to get some amazing deluxe sample sizes of their skincare in this year’s advent calendar. This would also make a great set to give to the man in your life. Sadly, this will only be available at Selfridge’s in London.

 

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L’Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar

L’Occitane actually puts out two advent calendars, the Classic and the Luxury set. I have my eyes on the luxury set as it contains some of my favorite of their top selling luxury products for the face and body including the amazing Divine Facial Cream and Deluxe Minis of their Fragrances.

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Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar

With the crazy amount of Beauty brands sold on Amazon, I’m pretty sure this will contain not only some of your favorite products, but also introduce you to some new favorites. This is one that I will definitely try to get my hands on!

 

 

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Jo Malone Beauty Advent Calendar

Who doesn’t love the uniqueness of Jo Malone products? 24 fun filled days of Candles, Fragrances and Body Products to mix and match to create your own unique scent. It is even rumored that this set will include some limited edition scents created only for the Holidays. If you are a fragrance lover, be sure to snag this one.

 

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Elemis Skincare Advent Calendar

Elemis is a brand I’ve worked with in the past and their products are not only luxurious but definitely effective. These high quality marine based products make your bathroom feel like a spa. This advent calendar even includes a full size of their top selling Pro Collagen Marine Face Cream.

 

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The Body Shop Olivia Advent Calendar

The Body Shop is actually releasing THREE advent calendars this year, but this one looked the cutest me. Full of their amazing cruelty free products for the face and body. And how adorable is this packaging?

Review of Drunk Elephant Skincare. Worth the Hype?

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If you have been browsing Instagram lately, especially any of the Beauty related hashtags, you have probably seen some of the Drunk Elephant products. Those white bottles of skincare with the highlighter colored tops?

I’m not usually one to buy in to “hype” but I had to check out these products for myself after being bombarded with them on social media. I found myself wondering if they would live up to the hype?

I took a look at my regular skincare routine and determined what was missing and looked at the Drunk Elephant products to see which products would fill those gaps. I needed a good Vitamin C serum, an exfoliating serum to replace my Lactic Acid one from The Ordinary and an amazing SPF to use for the day. So based on what I read online, I decided I wanted to try the C Firma Day Serum, the T.L.C. Framboos Night Serum and the Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30.

The full sized products from Drunk Elephant are pretty pricey, so I decided to try The Littles set which includes 8 deluxe sample sized products and retails for $99 at Sephora. The set has a great variety of the skincare to try and you can read more about them below as well as my thoughts on each one.

In order to be fair in trying these products and to be able to give my honest opionion, I used the products in The Littles set exclusively until I had used them up which took about 6-8 weeks depending on the products.

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Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

What is it? – This is a jelly cleanser that is supposed to be gentle enough for all skin types to remove dirt, makeup, excess oil and pollution.

My Review – While this did a great job at cleansing the skin, I actually found this to be really drying for my already dry skin so I stopped using it. I did find the jelly texture to be unique and kinda cool but in the end this just didn’t work out for me. I switched over to the Bliss Jelly Ball Glow Cleanser and I can not rave enough about that one.

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Shaba Complex Eye Serum

What Is It? – An eye serum with a whole complex of ingredients to give a more smoother and youthful look to the eye area.

My Review – I didn’t think this did a whole lot to brighten or even smooth around the the eye area. In fact, I eventually started putting my regular eye cream on top of this to get more hydration. In the end, I stopped using this because I wasn’t noticing any great effects and stuck with my more emollient eye cream from L’occitane that does everything for the eyes.

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C Firma Day Serum and B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

What Is It? – I listed these together since Drunk Elephant recommends mixing them together for application. C Firma is a powerful Vitamin C serum to brighten and firm the appearance of skin. The Hydration Serum is supposed to add instant hydration to the skin to smooth it’s appearance.

My Review – I really wanted to love this Vitamin C serum and in fact it was what brought me to try Drunk Elephant in the first place. However, after using the whole bottle I just didn’t see the results I was expecting. Some discoloration and freckling that I was hoping to have diminished was still very much visible. I actually used this up and then switched over to a Vitamin C serum from Derma E, which instantly in one week gave me the results I had hoped for from the Drunk Elephant C Firma and at a fraction of the cost.

The Hydrating Serum was also a huge let down as I don’t feel it actually did much in the way of hydrating. I still think the best hydrating serum I’ve ever used is the one from Vichy, the Vichy Mineral 89. Sadly, Vichy tests on animals and as I’m trying to go more Cruelty Free, I gave up using the Vichy brand.

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Lala Retro Whipped Cream

What Is It? – This airy textured moisturizer is full of oils to add long lasting hydration to the skin.

My Review – While I really loved the whipped texture of this, it didn’t do much for hydrating my normal to dry skin. Eventually, I went back to my holy grail moisturizers, The Embroylisse Lait Cream Concentrate for day and the Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Cream from night. My skin works better with richer and more emollient creams and sadly the Lala was just not moisturizing enough.

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

What Is It? – A physical sunscreen that delivers UVA/UVB protection and is loaded with tons of anti-oxidants.

My Review – Actually, of all of the 8 products in The Littles set, this was the one that I really fell in love with. It gives great protection, is lightweight enough to not interfere with other products and doesn’t feel too heavy during the day.

I had no irritation with this and loved that it wasn’t heavy or smelling of that normal sunscreen scent you get with other brands. This is one that I will be purchasing in the full sized soon.

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T. L. C. Framboos Night Serum

What Is It? – This is a cocktail of exfoliating ingredients including glycolic, lactic, citric and salicylic acids to improve the appearance of the skin’s tone and texture.

My Review – This was another Drunk Elephant product that I was super excited to try. The cocktail of chemical exfoliants sounds amazing and right up my alley. Sadly, this broke me out right away and I had to stop using it. I even backed off on how much I was using it during the week, but I still had very severe breakouts under my eyes and on my cheeks. The breakouts were large, red, dry and very painful.

I switched back to my Lactic Acid from The Ordinary and have had no issues since.

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

What Is It? – Rich in Omegas 6 and 9 this facial oil helps to nourish and restore skin’s youthful glow.

My Review – Honestly, I didn’t see much from this oil and have found that my pure Argan Oil from Acure does a much better job at hydrating and nourishing my skin.

___________________________________________________________________________________

I really wanted to fall in love with the Drunk Elephant skincare based on the reviews and recommendations I’ve seen in the Beauty Community, but sadly these just didn’t work out for me.

You can hear a little bit more about my thoughts on these products and why I don’t think they worked for me in the following video? I’d love to hear if you have tried the Drunk Elephant products and what your thoughts were, so sound off in the comments!

Bliss Skincare Product Review

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I’ve re-discovered Bliss products while shopping in Target recently and have fallen in love with a few of their newer products. I wanted to share my recent discoveries with y’all!

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Bliss Lemon & Sage Soapy Suds Body Wash

What They Say: 

  • This citrus-scented foamy body wash works into a silky lather, leaving skin smooth and clean.
  • Luxe lather cleans and conditions for exceptionally soft skin
  • Supremely scented with our iconic Lemon & Sage fragrance for an energizing pick-me-up

My Review: I really bought this for Matt who seems to really like it. I was a bit underwhelmed but it does in a pinch. I do really love the invigorating scent of this though. I just wished it suds up a bit more as I feel like I need to use a lot of it to get the amount of suds I’ve gotten from other shower gel brands.

I’m still on the hunt for some great cruelty free shower gels, with a range of scents/fragrances, that lather up well. I’ve used Bath & Body Work shower gels in the past, and just haven’t found anything that lives up to those. Especially, because Bath & Body Works always has amazing deals on the shower gels and accompanying lotions.

Bliss Lemon & Sage Soapy Suds

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Bliss Jelly Glow Ball – Jelly Ball Face Cleanser

What They Say: 

  • bouncy, fun cleansing ball with a one-of-a-kind soft jelly texture and refreshing geranium scent that leaves skin fresh, glowing and vibrant.
  • Concentrated formula with nutrient-rich lychee extract works into a lather to remove all traces of dirt, oil and makeup
  • Easily cleanse all the contours of your face
  • Massages skin to boost surface cell turnover
  • Travel-friendly: no-mess, no-leaking

My Review: I try to purchase solid products when and where I can in order to reduce my plastic consumption so I was really curious about this when I saw it. Plus, it’s a pink ball! How cute? But actually this comes with so much more packaging than I thought. I really hope they rethink how this is packaged and reduce some of the packaging because I really love this cleanser. The ball shape really follows the contour of your face, such as around the nose area. It does a great job at cleansing the skin without drying it out. In fact my skin feels smoother and softer after using this cleanser. It also has a very light and pleasing scent.

Bliss Jelly Glow Ball 

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Bliss Oh My Gommage! Gentle Polishing Face Cleanser

What They Say: 

  • This milky cleansing stick resurfaces and refines as soft plant-based fibers capture and roll away dead cells.
  • Non-abrasive, natural, gentle exfoliant leaves skin healthy, glowing and ultra-smooth
  • Gentle oil formula means you can’t over-scrub (no need to worry about redness or micro-scarring!)
  • Travel-friendly: no-mess, no-leaking

My Review: This exfoliator is amazing. I love how it does a great job of exfoliating the skin without the use of harsh scrubbing granules. If you have followed me for while you will know I’m not a fan of manual exfoliators. I much prefer to use chemical exfoliants on my skin personally.

Maybe it is the plant based fibers, but it really pills up the dead skin cells, leaving the skin super soft and glowing. This will definitely become a staple exfoliating product in my regimen.

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Bliss Eye Do All Things Hydrating & Brightening Eye Gel Cream

What They Say: 

  • A multi-action cooling eye gel – with a steel rollerball massaging applicator – hydrates and awakens, while depuffing, brightening and tightening.
  • Caffeine, peptides and plant stem cells help smooth and firm to reduce the look of puffy, tired eyes
  • Visibly diminishes dark circles as its light blue sheen minimizes shadows; massaging rollerball increases circulation
  • Safe for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested

My Review: I have mentioned this eye cream in a previous Favorite video. If you have ever used a cold spoon on the eye area to help depuff then you will love this product. The easy to squeeze tube dispenses the product around a steel roller ball that you can apply to the eye area in gentle, rolling motions. It does a great job at brightening the eye area and really hydrating and reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.

Bliss Eye Do All Things

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Bliss What a Melon – Reviving & Hydrating Overnight Face Mask

What They Say: 

  • This potent overnight mask creates a nutrient-rich veil to bring tired, stressed-out skin back to life.
  • Removes dead cells and toxins for a refreshed, dewy complexion; boosts skin’s defenses against stress and the environment
  • Balances to calm and de-stress; rehydrates as it tops off moisture levels and electrolytes to plump and soften
  • Wake up to vibrant, supple skin

My Review: Now in all fairness, it recommends that this mask be used 2-3 times a week. I used it once a week for about two weeks and didn’t really notice any difference in my skin the next morning. So the jury is still out on this one. Honestly, I was going to give up on it and just toss it. However, since I’ve loved all of the other products, I’m going to give this one a second chance and will report back. I do love the fresh watermelon smell though!

Bliss What A Melon 

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Bliss Mighty Marshmallow – Lightweight Face Mask

What They Say: 

  • This airy whipped mask – with a brightening boost of marshmallow root extract – delivers a surge of hydration to instantly reveal a new luminosity.
  • Revives dull, lackluster skin and delivers a fresh, “lit from within” glow
  • Visibly smooths uneven skin tone and discoloration
  • Hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested

My Review: This is by far one of the best face masks I’ve used in a really long time. It has a very light, whipped texture that spreads easily on the face. I found this did a great job at really deep cleaning the skin without drying, as well as helped to minimize pores and even brightened my complexion. I love that this didn’t dry down like most clay based masks, as I found those are often too drying for my skin. This left skin feeling even smoother and softer than before I applied it. One of my new favorite masks!

Bliss Mighty Marshmallow

I can’t wait to try out a bit more of the Bliss products from Target. If you have tried any of their skincare, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Let me know what you liked or even disliked.

Check out my video below to hear more thoughts on these products.

French Find Friday – Feret Parfumeur

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I’ve recently joined Maggie from Fresh Visage on Instagram for French Find Fridays (#frenchfindfridays), where we share some of our recent finds in French Beauty Products. Due to some family issues this past week, I’m a little late on this post, but I did mange to put up my post up on Instagram (@christopher.cupcakes) so make sure to follow me there to see my post every Friday going forward.

I recently discovered Feret Parfumeur and just had to share the products I recently purchased from them.

Feret Perfumeur was founded in 1865 and is still a family run company to this day. The company makes classic French Beauty products using high quality botanical ingredients.

Hyalomiel Hand Jelly

What They Say: Despite the seasons, retain the freshness of your complexion, the delicate scent of rose for your hands, for your skin the gentleness of honey.
Nature has its own laws and day after day your hands face its challenges as time passes. It is easier to prevent ageing than to repair it. An effective daily treatment is essential. Using Hyalomiel generously throughout the year gives your hands the freshness and the elasticity of youth.

Hyalomiel beautifully moisturizes, soothes and refreshes. No synthetic process can replace the natural benefits of our organic honey that constitutes your Hyalomiel. For men and women. Hyalomiel is a gel, non greasy, that does not stain and without parabens. Recent dermatological tests clearly demonstrate its effectiveness. Tested under dermatological control.

My Review: At first, I was a little unsure of the idea of using a jelly like product on my hands, as I’m so used to using a heavy cream. However, I rather like this. It leaves the hands feeling soft, refreshed and protected. The scent is light and pleasant. I really love how the product absorbs quickly into the skin.

Le Baume

What They Say: 100% natural balm with organic honey and dandelion, rose powder 50ml. For men and women.
Use of this unique balm will prevent chapping, cracked and dry, tight skin.
At a time when we are looking for natural beauty solutions without artificial ingredients, its completely natural ingredients hydrate and calm damaged skin.

My Review: This little product has already become a holy grail for me. I’ve mostly been using it as a lip balm and it is pure heaven. A little bit goes along way and leaves skin super soft and hydrated. The mixture of shea butters, sunflower oil, honey and more is just so gorgeous on the skin. The scent of rose is light and very pleasing as well. I’ve also loved using this on the hands and cuticles.

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I’ve also recently finished The Paris Bath and Beauty Book by Chrissy Callahan and it is as if she wrote this book exclusively for me. It is full of secrets from French Woman on finding that “je ne sais quoi” that they seem to have when it comes to Beauty and Fashion. It is also chock full of amazing, naturally-based, DIY Beauty recipes which I can’t wait to try out.

Let me know in the comments what products you have discovered recently and fallen in love.

au revoir!

 

 

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?

beauty, beauty products, beauty product reviews, beauty blog, beauty blogger, luxury beauty, luxury beauty products, skincare, mens skincare, anti aging skincare, luxury skincare, luxury skincare reviews, skincare reviews, fragrance, fragrance reviews, youtube, youtube, youtube reviews,Besides “Favorite” videos and posts, I also really love to watch and record “Beauty Empties” videos. I think these types of posts and videos give you a clearer understanding of what someone actually thinks about a product. In “Favorite” videos, we know they love it, because it’s…well…a favorite. But in “Empty” videos, they literally tell you if they would purchase the product again.

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!

Skincare 101 – An Esthetician Busts 10 Skin Myths

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Part of the reason that I decided to start this blog and my accompanying YouTube Channel and Instagram Account was to help spread truthful information on beauty and skincare. I can’t tell you how many times I see so called “beauty gurus” spouting off misinformation when it comes to taking care of your skin.

So today I’m here to bust some of the top Skincare myths. It is time to talk about TRUTHS instead of TRENDS when it comes to beauty and your skin.

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Myth 1 – I’m Too Young to Start Using Anti-aging Skincare

The truth is that it is never too soon to start focusing on using anti-aging skincare. In fact I’ve been taking care of my skin and using anti-aging products since I was 15. While that mean seem crazy that a 15 year old is worried about getting wrinkles, but it is more about prevention. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Find some great products with anti-aging benefits that are appropriate for your skin (not based on your age, See Myth 2). Retinols/Retinoids are my secret weapon in fighting the signs of aging. Two that I really love are the CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Face Cream Serum and The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene 

Myth 2 – Buying Skincare Based On Your Age

There used to be a trend in skincare to sell products based on your age. The truth is that is just a bunch of marketing hype. You should always look for skincare based on your individual skin type as well as your skin’s needs and concerns. And age is not a skin type. The truth is that someone in their 50s can still have problems with clogged pores and breakouts and a person who is in their 20s might need some anti-aging and corrective products due to sun damage, etc.

Remember to always look for skincare based on your current skin type (yes it changes over time) and the concerns that you have for your skin right now. Plus as mentioned in Myth 1, it’s never too early to start focusing on using anti-aging products.

Myth 3 – Opening and Closing Pores for a Deeper Clean

Contrary to popular belief, your pores DO NOT open and close. While using hot water to steam the face can make pores appear to be “open”, this is a total myth. The truth is that hot water can actually strip away your skin’s natural oils and cause your skin to dry out. It is best to use lukewarm water on your face when cleansing your skin.

Myth 4 – When It Comes to Exfoliating, Harder Means Better

Now this one is a big pet peeve of mine. The truth is harder does not mean better, it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m not a fan of what are called manual exfoliators. Manual exfoliators are the kind of scrubs that most people actually use. You know the kind, like the St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub, with the big chunks of walnut shells?  Part of the problem with manual exfoliants is that people are just scrubbing way to hard. The other part is the exfoliating granules and the damage they can do to your skin.

These harsh exfoliants can cause micro-tears in the skin which can lead to inflammation, breakouts, increased sun exposure and damage as well as accelerating the aging process in your skin.

I’m much more of a fan of chemical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants use, well chemicals, to gently exfoliate the skin. These include gylcolic, salicylic and lactic acids. You can read more about these in this post here.

Myth 5 – You Don’t Need Moisturizer if You Are An Oily Skin

This one is another myth that slightly annoys me. We have been trained for years now to think of oil as bad. That someone with an oily skin needs harsh cleansers to strip away the oils on the skin. Oily skin types are running around doing everything they can to prevent oil production, meanwhile stripping their skin and drying it out. It is actually possible for an oily skin to also be dehydrated.

If you are an oily skin type, please find a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin. Look for a light weight, oil free moisturizer. These are usually in the form of a gel moisturizer, so they won’t cause an oil slick on your face, but will keep your skin well hydrated. These moisturizers will help to keep your skin nourished and balanced. Also, try a more gentle cleanser that doesn’t dry your skin out, such as a micellar water cleanser.

I love the Pacifica Beauty Cactus Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic.

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Myth 6 – You Don’t Need Sunscreen on an Overcast Day

Sorry, but this one makes me laugh. If you knew my husband, you’d know that man would wear sunscreen at night if he thought it would help. In fact, I lovingly joke with him that he’s really a vampire. Just because you can’t see the sun, doesn’t mean it is not there.

The truth is that the harmful rays of the sun can still penetrate the clouds. In fact 80% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays come through even on the cloudiest and rainiest of days. Even on these days it’s important to wear your sun protection to prevent sun damage.

I won’t go too much more into spf and sunscreen because that could be a whole other post, but here are the sunscreen products I swear by, Pacifica Beauty’s SPF 50 Spray Natural Mineral Sunscreen and the Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Brightening and Perfecting UV Protector.

Myth 7 – Miracle Product Claims

Miracle product claims! You know the kind…”Erase your wrinkles in as little as 30 days”, etc. This is all marketing hype by cosmetic brands to get you to buy their products. Don’t buy into the hype.

The truth is there are no magic or miracle products. While using good skincare can prevent the signs of aging, nothing can erase wrinkles. However, using the right products can help to reduce and minimize the signs of aging. But you are going to have to use products like Retinols, AHAs and BHAs that are more active to really see results. Again, to find out more on these great anti-aging products, read my post here.

Myth 8 – Natural Skincare is Better

Ok, now this one is controversial. While there are some ingredients we do need to look out for when using skincare and other beauty products, natural does not always mean better. Poison Ivy is natural, but I’m not going to be rubbing that all over my face. Nowadays, the terms “natural” and “organic” are used as marketing ploys to get people to buy into a brands products.

The truth here is that you really need to find out what products and ingredients work well for your skin and which ones don’t. A lot of sensitive types might need to avoid products with fragrances, etc. However, while essential oils are “natural” they can still irritate and inflame your skin.

On the flip side, products that may contain ingredients developed by scientists might actually be better for your skin. These products might be more effective and beneficial to your skin than so called “natural” products. The main takeaway here is to find what works best for YOUR skin and think about the efficacy of the products you are using.

Myth 9 – Drinking Plenty of Water Keeps the Skin Hydrated

The simple truth here is, “sorry, no.” but also “yes, it can help”. It is beneficial to drink water to help keep your organs hydrated and your skin is your largest organ. However, you still need a moisturizer to help protect the skin and keep your skin well hydrated.

Drinking water will help to keep your skin looking it’s best, especially because water is better for your skin than say coffee or soda. But you still need to take care of your skin with the right skincare products.

Myth 10 – You Can Use the Same Products for Day and Night

While you can use the same products for both day and night, it is not the best route to take.

The truth is that your skin does have different needs at different times of the day. In terms of products for the day think about protection and for night think about repairing and revitalizing. During the day use products that protect your skin from free radicals and sun damage. At night use products that help to revitalize and repair your skin such as ones with vitamins and peptides.

Also, my favorite anti-aging weapon is a Retinoid, which should only be used at night. Also, I’m a huge fan of facial oils for hydrating and repairing skin, but prefer to use these at night while I’m sleeping, as opposed to during the day because I don’t want to deal with my skin being too oily during the day. So think about what your skin needs during the day and what it needs at night and use products to address those needs.

I hope this post cleared up some of the questions you had as far as these skincare myths are concerned. If want more information, please watch the video below and if you have any skincare questions, leave those in the comments and I will be sure to address them.

Au revoir!