Archive of ‘Discovery’ category

Review: Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter and Lip Balm

Acheté Échantillon

I was turned on to Haus of Gloi by Rebecca of HelloPrettyBird when she reviewed their products, and had to immediately go out and buy some of my own to try. I am a sucker for products that smell liked baked goods. Or flowers. Or fruits. Okay, fine, good-smelling products are my weakness all around.

Haus of Gloi is a two-person owned company producing vegan bath and body products and perfume oils. Basically, if you use their stuff, you wind up wanting to eat pastries all the time, but in a good way.

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Les Cinq Petites Choses #4

Affilier Acheté

I decided that instead of talking about all the things that I want, I would talk about the things that I have or that I don’t have but am just appreciating.

Alors, voici, les cinq petites choses que je suis amoureuse en ce moment (is that right?). The 5 little things I’m loving right now.

#1 – You’ll notice that I threw in some French again, and that’s heavily influenced by two of the things on the list today.

I was talking to my friend Darren in Montreal, and he recommended some music artists to me who sing in French. (As we know, I like them.) I promptly went and looked them up, and super glad I did. I’m pretty crap discussing music (despite how much I love listening to it), so I’ll paraphrase Darren.

Alex Nevsky – Himalaya Mon Amour He’s kind of chamber pop/rock with some 60s influences. Apparently, “On leur a fait croire” became an actual radio hit up there, despite the fact that though it sounds so fun, the lyrics are terribly sarcastic and dark.

Le Couleur – Voyage Love EP (Yes, “Le,” not “La,” the error is apparently intentional.) It has a very disco synth sound, but it’s undeniably modern. I even like it despite the synth. 😉 “Vacances de 87” and “Voyage amoureux” are great to dance to.

Peter Peter – Une version améliorée de la tristesse He’s apparently the indie darling up in Montreal. He used to make more folk rock music, but discovered the synthesizer for this album, so it’s kind of experimental synth pop. And good.

(Okay, so technically this was 3 things. A bonus. 😉 )

French music

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Mini update to Wishlist Wednesday #11

Hey guys, I have some great news! Today Les Néréides just opened their US online store!

That means that my necklace can now be mine without crazy shipping fees! Uh oh, this could be dangerous…

 

 

 

 

Samples Soliloquy #1

Soliloquy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\

: a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts

I decided to start a series in which I (finally) review the (copious amounts of) samples I’ve procured from Sephora (among other places), so it seemed a fitting title. 🙂

DSC_1491 Finding a good use for my empty Birchbox boxes. 😉

(In order to keep track of all my samples, I’ve started to write the names on the top in Sharpie and then using Scotch tape on top to keep it from smearing. I figure if I ever buy the full size, I can refill the sample size and use it for traveling.)

I’m going to use my first entry to discuss the collection of skincare items that, along with the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I credit for helping to clear up my face after the Liz Earle Incident. Which means, yes, I like them, and, yes, I would purchase the full-size items. (And intend to!)

I’ve read about Ren Skincare everywhere, so when I saw that Sephora had the whole line, I grabbed a few items to try. And, boy, am I glad I did.

DSC_1492 The heroes of the day.

My first pick was the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk. I specifically chose this because it’s for sensitive skin and I thought my skin was upset enough as it was. I chose this over the gel since, as I’ve said, everything I’m reading these days is saying that any kind of gel or foaming cleanser is bad for you. So I started using this after taking off my makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O. It smells nice, it feels gentle on the skin—almost like you’re not even putting anything on your skin, which is good for upset skin—and then using the muslin cloth from the Liz Earle kit and hot water to remove it. I put the hot cloth over my face for a few seconds, and then I gently scrub wipe off.

Once things started to clear up after using the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I introduced the Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I didn’t want to overstrip or overdry my skin with the clay, so I only used that at night, and continued with the Hydra Calm in the morning. But I have to say that this feels plenty milky as well. It does smell clay-like, and I also remove it with the muslin cloth and hot water.

After that, I used the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. This is to help brighten and clear your complexion, with acidic exfoliators. This is especially good for helping to get rid of the marks that zits leave on your face. Which I know firsthand.

Then I use the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. On top of that, I’ve been using the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. This helps treat the pimples and also helps with the redness and marks. (You only use the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate for 7 days at a time, so this works in the interim.) It’s amazing to wake up in the morning and literally see that your skin looks better.

(I’ve had a deluxe-sized sample of the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for a while, so I’ve thrown that in once a week as well to help fade the red marks and discoloration. [I did not receive this one from Sephora. I don’t even remember where it came from!] Especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned her love of lactic acid treatments for exfoliation.)

Then, rounding out the sample saviors, is Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment (the oil-free one). I mentioned I was liking the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus moisturizer sample I got, but the Origins pulled ahead in the end. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’ve gotten samples of this about 7 times now, since I can’t be without it. It feels so nice on the skin, it feels perfectly hydrated, and it smells amazing. I don’t get over oily from using it, and my skin has really turned around over the last few weeks. (Although I do find that if I use the acid exfoliators during the day, it does overstimulate the oil production in my skin, and I get oilier, so I don’t use it during the day.)

These are just in place of those things I was previously using. I’m still using the same toners. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go back to my old cleansing routine after the Liz Earle didn’t work out. I am, too, but I am trying to take to heart the urging not to use foaming/gel cleansers, and both of the ones I was using fell under that category. Also, this stuff has really been working and I haven’t paid for it (yet). :p So…

And now my skin is looking so much better and I’m grateful.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the makeup samples I’ve gotten.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you sampling anything from Sephora lately?

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Music Monday #12

I had a musical discovery (to me) this past week, actually from reading the Clarins blog. (Believe it or not.)

Could you have a better band name than Le Prince Miiaou?! (Yes, that’s french for “meow.” 🙂 ) Our songbird’s real name is Maud-Elisa Mandeau, and she started playing music at 16. No, she’s not another teenager, she’s been at it now since 2002. But I really adore this song, from her third album.

I have to listen to some more of her music, definitely. Although, sadly, it seems her first album is no longer available. But her second and third albums, Safety First and Fill the Blank With Your Own Loneliness, are available. Plus, she has a new album called Where Is the Queen? coming out at the end of January.

What do you think? Have you ever heard of her before? Do you have any more recommendations for me? What are you listening to today?

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New Holy Grail product alert: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

I don’t say things like this lightly. If something becomes a Holy Grail product for me, it’s because it’s been tried and true and complete surpassed any expectations I may have had. And I have to try something out for a while, at least 2 weeks, before I can render any verdict on a product.

No one was more surprised than I was. My skin was a mess after my Liz Earle experience, and I needed something to help with the breakouts. Did I ever in my life think that for my oily, acne-prone that thing would be…an oil?!

In a word, no.

1258669_fpx And then you walked into my life.
(Please forgive the non-original photography. My work schedule is kicking my ass.)

I don’t even remember how I came across the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil as an option for treating a breakout, but I’m so glad I did.

Naturally, I was skeptical, so a sample was procured from Sephora. (Not easily, either! Despite it being listed as being in stock in many stores, I had to go to three on the list before I found it!) I took it home and used it at night.

And woke up and saw a NOTICEABLE improvement in my poor, broken out skin. FROM AN OIL. When everything else had failed to make a dent. So let’s just say, I went back out and quickly procured another sample from Sephora.

Clarins call this a purifying treatment oil, and they say it hydrates, tones and balances oily skin types. I don’t know how an oil can do that, but it’s true, it does. Its blend of Rosewood, Geranium and Lotus extracts are supposed to tighten pores and refine the skin texture, while Hazelnut Oil softens, soothes and seals in moisture to minimize the appearance of fine lines. (Or so they say. We’ll see if I keep looking this young. 😉 )

It does have a strong smell, that I’ve read some people don’t like, but I quite do like the scent.

I’ve been using it since then and my skin has continued to improve. I even dab a tiny bit on just my pimples in the morning to keep up the healing (but I’d be afraid to have the oil all over my face…although, it might be okay. One of you try it, first. 😉 ).

And, as the biggest mark of my esteem, I have actually invested in purchasing it. (Yes! I bought something! But I had a discount voucher. So there.)

So Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil officially has the SheDreamsInPerfectFrench stamp of approval! And if you’re having skin problems, I highly recommend it.

Have you tried this? What did you think?

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K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S., or, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Those are words to live by. And that’s what Melt Cosmetics does. They do matte lipstick, they do it bright, and that’s all they do.

I succumbed and ordered two of their colors a little while back (see, I told you I wasn’t as good as I should have been). I really love discovering new brands, and a brand specializing in matte lipsticks was right up my alley.

My picks were Belladonna 2 and Shady Lady.

DSC_1292Having them side by side, I kind of want to wear them together as a gradient!

Belladonna 2 was part of my “Find the Perfect Red” initiative. From the product description, it seemed so promising.

When they arrived, however, I had a little bit of a shock swatching Belladonna 2 on my hand. It looked pink. I showed it to Rose. She said it looked pink, too. It was worrying.

At home, I put it on full force. Like, multiple layers. And finally, finally, finally, it was a gorgeous cherry red. Very bright, cherry red. Definitely a gorgeous color—check out Keiko Lynn rocking it on her blog—but, sadly, not a contender for my perfect red.

The real pleasant surprise, though, is Shady Lady. I bought it mostly on impulse. I was going to just get the red, but I have a weakness for fuchsia/magenta colors. (As revealed by my swatch book.) You could say that I’ve been looking for my perfect fuchsia as well, since I always buy them thinking they lean purple/violet, and then on me, they just look hot pink.

First of all, when I swatched Shady Lady on my hand, even once I wiped it off, there was a stain there. It actually took me a couple of days to get it completely off!

When I wore the lipstick for the whole day, it left an amazing stain on as well. But, in a good way. Like, at 5:00 in the afternoon, my coworker commented on how awesome my lipstick was—and I hadn’t reapplied all day! I was just wearing the remnants and the stain that was left.

The best part of it for me is that it does lean a bit purple, and it is true to that when I wear it, as well. It’s the shade I was wearing in this photo:

DSC_1278I’ve found my perfect fuchsia/magenta!

If you couldn’t tell from that story, they wear amazingly well and long, stay matte, and feel good on your lips.

The only thing about the lipsticks is they have a very strong smell/taste. I can’t even really identify what it is. It’s kind of vanilla mixed with wax mixed with something else. I’m sure some people like it, but I would have liked them better without it. But they’re still totally worth it.

And, for Black Friday, they are offering 25% off! Just use code PAINTITBLACK.

What do you think of the colors? Have  you discovered any new brands lately? Are you going to get anything for Black Friday?  need to live vicariously through you!

Les Cinq Petites Choses #3

Voici 5 choses que j’ai aimées récemment. Here are five things I’ve been loving lately.

1. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because I only just recently discovered Lisa Eldridge, an amazing and accomplished makeup artist. I know, I know, you’re all scoffing at me. But better late than never?

And I adore her. We even have similar skin issues and similar coloring (though she has those gorgeous hazel eyes).

I’m not sure if her tutorial videos have seen me through insomnia or if they’ve caused my insomnia since I stay up way too late watching them. (And then I want all the things she uses! This is how I found out about Face Lace.)

But, in particular, I adore the look she uses in this video.

2. After reading about Tom Ford’s Black Orchid fragrance here and here, I was curious enough to go to Sephora and get a sample. It’s touted as a unisex fragrance, and when I sampled it on a card at the Tom Ford counter first, the person helping me told me that Brad Pitt wears it.

I have not worn a unisex fragrance since CK One came out and EVERYONE wore it. And I was young and foolish then. So I was skeptical.

And I have to say, I’m won over. And yet still skeptical. Black Orchid goes on smelling gorgeously fruity. And it dries down to a lovely spice. But a very masculine spice. (I suppose that’s how it works as a unisex fragrance?) I had my brother smell it, and he said it smelled like a men’s scent.

But maybe that’s why I liked it? Hey, if you don’t have a man in your life to smell, just smell yourself instead? 😉

Black OrchidThat bottle. Is sexy.

3. I was lucky enough to discover Rosaspina Vintage when they still had pieces from their summer collection left. All the clothing is designed by the lovely Ale from Turin, handmade by her mother, and sourced from her grandmother’s vintage textile collection. It is the most amazing history for your clothing to have.

In the ensuing days, I’ve been dying over the hints of the Autumn/Winter 2013 collection to come.  Yesterday, it went on sale. And I think I am officially dead from the amazingness. I literally want everything. But if I have to pick a few favorites, these are them.

rosaspinavintage_aw13_cape5The ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ cape in Burnt Orange. I want this so badly it hurts. (The ‘Briar Rose’ pinafore in Floral is also available.)

rosaspinavintage_aw13_dress5I loved every color of this dress. Here, the ‘Gretel’ dress in Mist.

rosaspinavintage_aw13_skirt5This skirt was in my cart. My cart advanced to Paypal. I looked at the price again and reminded myself that I have no money. I cried.

rosaspinavintage_aw13_skirt6It’s so beautiful, it hurts to look at it. The ‘Gerda’ skirt in Chestnut. (The ‘Little Matchgirl’ blouse in Scarlet is also available.)

Sadly, because they are hand made and mostly one-of-a-kind, the skirt will be gone by the time I am working again and can afford to buy it. It breaks my heart.

4. Reading The Penny Rose, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing illustration in their logo. I obviously had to dig around and see if they mentioned who it was by and, of course, they did.

Jessica Durrant‘s work has been seen at Target, One Kings Lane, QVC.com, Glamour.com, and many others. But you don’t need to be a corporation or institution to be lucky enough to have a piece of her gorgeous art. Etsy to the rescue, once again! And, once again, I want everything.

Jessica DurantSeriously. I wonder how much she charges. I need a logo…

5. I am not exaggerating when I say this last thing is a godsend. How many times have you (assuming you are a beauty enthusiast) wanted to try a new foundation, only to be faced with the fact that you have no idea which color to pick? Sometimes that’s not a problem, ie, when you are able to go into a store and try it on. But what if they don’t sell it at a store near you? Or what if you go into the store and no one is available to help you? (This happened to me. More than once.)

That’s where Findation comes in. Plug in the shades of the brands and specific foundations that you know you where, and it populates a list of what your shade would be in countless others. They have a huge array of brands and foundations listed. You’re sure to find something that you want on the list.

Findation

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not yet tested how accurate it is, so don’t blame me if it’s not exactly right. But I’m pretty sure something came up on my list that I had tried on once, in the right shade.

I’m excited to test it out, though!

What do you think of my 5 things? What have you been loving lately?

Well, there’s always next year!

Do you remember how I was saying that I never have any ideas for Halloween costumes? Well, while having insomnia, in the wee early hours right after Halloween, I made a discovery that inspires me for next year. (And it actually came through another discovery I made that I’ll share with you soon.)

I present to you Face Lace.

mask-hipstarThe Hipstar mask. Photo from FaceLace.com

How. Effing. Cool?! This take the masquerade mask and elevates it into the stratosphere. And there’s more!

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