Tag: Face

Purple heart

Well, guys. I was finally able to take some photos and test out the object of my affections, Serge Lutens lipstick in Pourpre Maure.

My dedication to the cause went to extreme lengths that day. I woke up earlier than usual (and my new commute is a killer anyway) and brought my camera out back, making sure the door wasn’t locked. I wasn’t wearing a coat, and it was about 27ºF. I finished taking the photos…and, yup, the door was indeed locked.

Ten minutes later and shivering my ass off, I got someone to let me in. So you’d better really like these photos!

I just need to say, I think I’m in trouble. Like, serious trouble. I truly and deeply heart it.

To start with, here is my own photo of the sampler:

DSC_1502 The top three…swoon.

The three dark colors are all “me” colors. The bottom 3, not so much. (I am pale and I look dead in light, nude-y colors.) Although I think that Or Frele ( the one on the bottom left) is probably meant to be layered over another color, since it’s essentially clear with gold sparkles.

To be completely honest, when I went into Barneys to try on my color, the guy at the counter told me it was #2 (which is actually the top middle color). Even though I had requested the color by name to try on. (He also made me try on #10 Garde Rose, which is gorgeous as well. Of course.)

So part of me was wondering if perhaps I was now dreaming about the wrong color. Nope. He got it wrong. (I know for sure because I wore Roman Rouge yesterday…and halfway through the day switched back over to Pourpre Maure. :p Even though it’s a beautiful color on its own…it’s not MY color.)

I’ve already hit the bottom of the cardboard in one area of the sample, so I’m reluctant to use it for extraneous things, like swatching, so I’ll link you to someone who already did. I am curious to compare it to MAC Rebel, though (which I do own as well), especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned it as an alternative. And, you know, it’s $75.

DSC_1504 Apparently I’m unable to apply lipstick straight with a lip brush from a cardboard sampler. Or I put it on in the dark? I also realized later I completely forgot to put on blush. Fail.

DSC_1506 My friends call this “Shani face.” It’s just cause I feel dumb in pictures.

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DSC_1514 It’s crooked, but it’s so pretty!

Now, you’re wondering, sure, it’s got a gorgeous face, but does it have anything going on upstairs?

Well, it’s not a member of Mensa, but it probably graduated with distinction. 😉

It goes on feeling very creamy, and then dries down to a satiny, velvet finish. You really don’t feel it on, but it’s not drying. It’s not hydrating, either, though. You should make sure your lips are exfoliated and hydrated before applying.

One of the things these lipsticks are known for are their intense pigmentation. And it did last through a meal, and didn’t transfer onto my spoon at all. I did have to reapply it in the afternoon.

The only negative thing (besides for the price!) is that when it fades, it tends to stain your lips the way wine does, catching on the most prominent areas. But while you’re wearing it, it’s glorious.

What do you think of the color? Have you ever had any mishaps in the course of performing your blogging duties? Do you want to see what the other colors look like? How do you get over something once it’s taken hold of your soul? 😉

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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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Les Cinq Petites Choses #1

I’ve seen several bloggers doing different variations on “(insert number) of things,” but seeing the way Daphné does it,  I decided it just sounds so much better in French, so I’m following suit. 🙂

Here are my 5 little things of late:

#1 – I finally found something that makes me WANT to carry my Nikon dSLR around with me!

As you can probably tell by from some of my posts on this blog, I love to take photos. Traveling with a good camera is always a struggle. Do you carry a camera bag? And advertise that you’re a tourist/carrying expensive equipment with you? I’ve bought two bags, one from Epiphanie and one from Kelly Moore, that look like purses but have compartments inside for camera equipment. But both of them wind up feeling very heavy and bulky. On my last trip, I literally wound up stashing my Nikon in a fabric tote bag and just carrying it around in that, despite the lack of protection.

Then along came my Rebecca Minkoff Collin Camera Bag. I’d seen the version that certain bloggers got and coveted it dearly. It was while it was still sold out, but then the new colors came out. And, amazingly, they showed up on Gilt, w00t! (The snap seems to be coming out of the leather a tiny bit, so maybe that’s why it was on sale already?)

It’s not large enough to carry an extra lens, and it’s not large enough for when I use my zoom lens, but for just carrying my camera around with my prime lens, which is what I use most these days anyway, it’s perfect. If I pare down, I can even carry everything I need in it, sticking little things in the front pocket. And it looks good, too.

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#2 – As part of working on my français, I’ve been watching a lot of French films. Combine that with a hearty endorsement from Entertainment Weekly, and Starbuck went to the top of my Netflix DVD queue.

And, franchement, it belonged there. I liked this movie so much, I watched it twice within a 24-hour period. Yes, it’s a little farfetched, but it’s also funny and touching. And worth at least one watch. (And I admit I laughed for a reason unrelated to the plot—my French friends complained to me about Montreal/Quebecois accents and, watching this, I TOTALLY got it.)

Naturally, an American remake is already in progress (quelle surprise, sigh), but I would definitely recommend checking out the original. If only to giggle at the accents. (That’s not how it’s pronounced!!)

#3 – I think the best part of being told that I spent enough money at Sephora over the past year to qualify for Sephora VIB Rouge is the exclusive shade of Bite Beauty lipstick that came with my welcome kit. My love for Bite has already been partially documented, but I’ve been waiting for summer to be over to break this beauty out.

It is THE perfect Fall red. It’s a tiny bit darker, a tiny bit deeper than a bright, true red. Very, very vintage feeling. So much so, in fact, maybe somewhat inspired by all the World War I and II historical fiction I’ve read lately, that the other night, I did my hair up in pseudo Victory Rolls, put on some black eyeliner and a vintage choker I bought at a flea market, and painted my lips with this red. And I looked like I stepped out of another era. Which is how I like it.

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#4 – I had let my subscription to Birchbox lapse when they sent out samples of Joie’s then brand new signature scent, Folle de Joie. But reading the blog and following them on Twitter, I kept seeing them talk about how amazing the scent was. I’m a bit of a perfume collector (more on that a different time), and every blogger who had tried it seemed to adore it.

I’m a bit finicky with scents, having a very sensitive nose and stomach, so I sometimes can’t wear scents that are popular with other people (for example, Flowerbomb). I decided to go into a Joie store when I was in the neighborhood and try it on for myself. Besides for needing to try it on first, another perfume is the last thing I should be spending my money on right now.

Luckily for me, the sales assistant was so lovely and gave me a sample to take home. I confess, I came back another day with a friend so we could both get another one (she graciously gave me hers), but only because I loved it so much and knew I would run out. (I was right; I’ve already finished one and am on to my second.)

People describe it as very summery scent, but I don’t see it that way. It feels to me like an all-year scent. It just seems to fit me.

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#5 – Sorry, I know I’m laying it on thick with the French in this post, but I try to absorb it however I can, and this includes listening to French music. I have a friend who knows more about music than I ever have, and she keeps introducing me to bands, especially French bands. Amusingly, most of these French bands sing in English. But she recommended I buy Lescop’s album, and I’m glad I did.

But it’s on especially heavy rotation right now, because it’s moody, atmospheric, perfectly French, and perfect for Autumn. Listening to this album is the aural equivalent of wrapping up in a cozy sweater with a cup of tea. It just evokes the season to me, and I’m welcoming it with open arms.

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