Tag: french

Allons-y!

It’s no secret that I love to travel. While I’ve only gone on mini adventures in the time that I’ve had this blog, my passion is traveling to Europe. But that’s hard to do when you’ve been unemployed for a while, obviously.

 

And, clearly, I love fashion. I mean, clearly.

 

Which is why I was so thrilled to receive an email about participating in the contest that Fashionchick.com is running to win a trip to Amsterdam Fashion Week!

 

This couldn’t be a more perfect contest for me if it tried. Despite living in New York my entire life, I have never managed to get invited to any Fashion Week events, despite how much I wanted to go. Also, I have dear, dear friends in the Netherlands, so visiting Amsterdam would hopefully give me a chance to see them after all these years.

 

In order to enter Fashionchick‘s contest, I had to put together an outfit that I would wear to Amsterdam Fashion Week. Or, since it sounds so much better in French, “Quelle tenue porteriez-vous pour la Amsterdam Fashion Week?”

 

Here’s what I came up with:
What I would wear to Amsterdam Fashion Week
What I would wear to Amsterdam Fashion Week by shedreamsinperfectfrench featuring yellow gold jewelry

I feel like my Isabel Marant pour H&M dress is a given. It’s the perfect occasion to wear it. But because the dress is so delicate and feminine, I think the rest of the outfit should add some edge.

That merlot biker jacket from Mackage is just amazing and the perfect color. Like everyone else, I have a black leather jacket, but I’ve long lusted after a wine/oxblood leather jacket, and this one looks perfect. (Yes, I know it’s in January. I’ll just throw a wool coat over it or something.)

 

My Calvin Klein Sable boots are elegant and edgy at the same time, a perfect counterpoint to the other two.

 

Rounding things out, I would love a Trixxi Chain from Liliclaspe to keep up the edge and add some sparkle.

 

And, as always, my Giles and Brother Railroad Spike Cuff will be on my wrist. (It has “Allons-y” engraved so that I always keep me spirit of adventure. And it’s a reference to Doctor Who.) (Well, it actually says “Allons y,” since I couldn’t get the hyphen engraved. 😉 )

 

What do you think of my choices? What would you wear if you were going? And can you tell Fashionchick to pick me, pretty please? 😉

Music Monday #9

Today I start my new job. Today I start work in a new industry. Today is all about new starts and new beginnings. Today is about emerging triumphant, undeterred.

Today is ALL about Titanium by David Guetta (a Frenchman, yay!).

It’s not new, and it’s been played plenty. But it makes me feel good and makes me think of good times and of Paris and today it fits me perfectly.

Sing it loud, sing it proud!

What songs make you feel this way? What are you listening to today?

Wishlist Wednesday #7

Okay, now. I’ve covered boots, jewelry, dresses, hats, makeup, and shoes. It’s time for purses!! (You know, all the basic food groups!)

I discovered the bags of French brand Tammy & Benjamin through a boutique that I adore in Paris. Shortly after that, I saw Valentine rocking one of their bags. (In fact, I found out about her blog when the company referred to that entry, and I’m glad I did!)

Lucky for me, they deliver to the US, with no problems at all. (As does Shop des Créateurs.) I just adore their vintage feel, combined with the amazing French craftsmanship. I currently own the Elizabeth in gold, the Petit Charlie in blue, and the Emma in black. But what I really want now is this:

TammyAndBenjamin_03_resize Just freaking look at it!!

Considering my current unemployed state and lack of fundage, the good news is, I can’t find this version of the Petit Charlie anywhere. The bad news is, I CAN’T FIND THIS VERSION OF THE PETIT CHARLIE ANYWHERE. It’s in their lookbook for the new collection, but it’s not on their site. Or Shop des Créateurs. I tweeted the company, but they did not respond.

IT HURTS MY SOUL THAT THIS BAG CANNOT BE MINE.

But, if I have to settle for a replacement, the yellow and black Petit Charlie is pretty spiffy, too. Still. *sniff*

How many purses are too many purses? And isn’t “sac à main” such a great term? What are you lusting after this week?

Une mini virée en voiture d’octobre 2013—Part II

Where last I left you, the sky looked like this:

DSC_1088

DSC_1089

DSC_1092We were on a ferry, heading here:

DSC_1090Ahoy, Shelter Island!

(more…)

Incoming search terms:

  • TravelsWithXabiArchives-shedreamsinperfectfrench

The search for the perfect red continues

Je suis tellement, tellement désolé, mais je suis trop fatigué pour écrire aujourd’hui à propos de ma mini virée en voiture. Demain ou dimanche, je l’espère. Aujourd’hui, je vais écrire au sujet de la poursuite de ma recherche pour le rouge à lèvres rouge parfait.

I know I promised photos and the tale of my mini road trip to Shelter Island, but I’m just too tired. I saw Frightened Rabbit last night, for the conclusion of Scotland Week in New York, and I got home super late. (I have some video on my Instagram, if you’re interested!) There was just no time to go through all the photos. Tomorrow or Sunday, I hope.

In the meantime, I had the chance yesterday before the show to go into Bloomingdales in SoHo and try on some more red lipsticks I’ve read about recently. I am on the hunt for the perfect red lipstick, and I will leave no stone unturned!

First up is the legendary Cherry Lush by Tom Ford. This color has cult status, and is purported to be the perfect red. Of course I had to try it on!

P1000041I look so unhappy. I’m not, I promise!

(more…)

The skin I’m in—My basic skincare regimen dissected

Someone asked me to do a post (someone asked me to do a post!!) on my basic daily beauty routine, so I thought I would start with my skincare.

My oily skin has been the bane of my existence since I was a teenager. My favorite joke about my skin is that there is enough oil on my face when I wake up in the morning to solve the energy crisis. (There really is.) When women talk about wanting a foundation that makes them look “dewy,” I know that with me, all I have to do is put on foundation and wait an hour and POOF! Dewy.

Much like my perfume-buying habits, I’ve been through practically every oily skin line of skincare trying to find the holy grail of mattifying moisturizer (or cleanser or toner). My conclusion: There is no such thing. The companies will claim to eliminate all your shine, but if you’re as oily as I am, you’re always going to be a little bit shiny. The thing that you can work on, though, is how shiny you’re going to be.

I feel like I need to state that one of the problems with taking care of oily skin is that in an attempt to eliminate oil, we sometimes strip away too much oil. Doing what? Causing your skin to produce more oil to compensate. So don’t forget: some oil good, too much oil bad. I use moisturizer even at night, even though it seems counter intuitive.

I had a fantastic run from March to April this year, where by the end of the work day, I just had a slight sheen, and just needed to dab a bit before going out. I had started a new skincare regimen and also discovered a new line of foundation (that I’ll talk about in the follow up to this post).  What was the magic combination, you’re wondering?

DSC_0999Clockwise from left: Lush Ultrabland, Tea Tree Water, Grease Lightning, Enzymion, Fresh Farmacy Soap

I have friends in Scotland who are big believers in Lush, so I decided to go in and buy a skincare system and see how it worked. The routine was, take my eye makeup off, then use Ultrabland to take the makeup off the rest of my face. This step was something new to me. I had never taken my makeup off my face before cleansing, or, double cleansing. It feels completely counter intuitive to put Ultrabland on oily skin, because it feels oily (and is in fact made with essential oils), but seeing how much dirt came off my face when I used the Tea Tree Water on a cotton pad to take it off, I was amazed. I also did not break out more because of it, and rationalized that it was probably good to be putting some oil back into my face (see factoid above). The Tea Tree Water smells fresh, feels refreshing, and is really a great product. The person who helped me told me she even sprays it on her face during the day to help mattify and refresh her skin (I haven’t tried that for fear of my mascara running, heh).

Next step was to wash my face with the Fresh Farmacy Soap. She chose this cleanser because I do have some pimples, but don’t need an exfoliating cleanser since I use a Clarisonic Mia brush. Fresh Farmacy is made with calamine, so it’s the same color as the old mosquito bite remedy. You can smell it, too. It kind of feels medicinal, but in a good way.  At night I (still) use a prescription retinol on my face, generic Retin-A. During the day, I uses Grease Lightning for oil and pimples. Then I used Avibon (which is a French skincare secret: pure vitamin A retinol, used by French women to keep wrinkles at bay) under my eyes and whatever eye cream in the morning I was using at the time (probably some sample I got), and then moisturized with Enzymion. I’ve heard that they do demos of this moisturizer on people’s hands, showing how it sucks up oil. I’m sure it does, and like I said, it worked really well for a spell. It smells citrusy and fresh, which is especially nice in the morning.

In April, I went to Spain for a week and a half, and I don’t know if it was the traveling, the change in regimen while I was away, or the changing of the season, but when I got back, my skin did not respond to this routine as well. Quel disappointment! So what’s a beauty product addict to do? Go find some more, of course!

(more…)

Incoming search terms:

  • french skin care regimen

Dollars and Scents – The Perfumes I’ve Known and Loved

I have a confession to make. I’m what you might call “promiscuous” when it comes to perfume.

DSC_0988The usual suspects, old and new.
(clockwise from front right: Petite Chérie, La Petite Robe Noire, Portrait of a Lady,
Pear Cassis, Un Jardin après la Mousson, Manifesto, and Orange Sanguine)

I’ve spoken at large about my obsession with makeup (especially lipstick, these days), but I’ve kept mostly mum about my embarrassingly large fragrance stash.

Growing up, I knew what a signature scent was in theory, but in practice, it seemed as abstract and unreal as the Yeti or Loch Ness Monster. It also had an allure that I seemed to lack, a girl growing up in Brooklyn. A signature scent seemed to evoke a chic Parisian woman who walks by and you turn your head because she smells so good and you don’t know what it is. And, bien sur, she won’t tell.

The romance of fragrance still feels very French to me as an adult. I still assume every French woman has a signature scent, something that is not available in the United States, and that they keep the name as secret as their internet passwords.

I can’t even say that it evoked a sophistication I didn’t have yet, as a teenager (or even now as an adult, big geek that I am), and that’s why I shied away from one. Honestly? I just liked smelling different every day. It was fun. It was like playing a different person every day. (I still do this with my makeup. I rarely look the same from day to day.)

So I was the girl buying every new perfume when it came out, desperate to get my hands on the latest and greatest. There was Pleasures and Trésor and Happy and my cherry-blossom-smelling G Gigli and my wear-in-winter-only tuberose Fracas. There were the two scents that just smelled so damn good on me, Eternity and Chaos. And let’s not forget Samsara and the summer I wore only Sexy Graffiti. Or the first time I went to Paris, and I followed Suzy Gershman’s advice and went to the most amazing duty-free perfume store ever, Catherine (which has since closed down, lucky for my wallet). I think my sister and I walked away from there with 4 new perfumes (in addition to the Spring Flower I had already bought at Creed), including a 3.4 oz tester of J’adore that was pure perfume (parfum!), not eau de anything. (For only $100!)

And, yes, I spent all that money. Because, as you know, perfume don’t come cheap. I actually feel faint when I think of the money I’ve spent on perfume over the years, especially considering how many of them it turned out I couldn’t wear.

(more…)

Wishlist Wednesday #5

Hello, again, and welcome to another edition of Things Shani Wants But Can’t Afford (Right Now) Because She’s Unemployed. Today changes things up a bit, in that I’m not just going to write about a single item that I’m lusting after, but an entire new makeup line.

I recently read this article about celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt‘s new makeup line, Surratt, which just debuted at Barneys New York (sadly, not all the items are available online right now).

I think we all love perusing Japanese stores such as Muji for their interesting and ingenious products . Surratt took all that innovation and injected it into his line, and some of the items inspire unnatural amounts of lust in me.

For example:

Surratt describes his Autographique liner (liquid liner) pen as being inspired by calligraphy pens, and contains a similar capillary system. The point is fine and made of nylon, not felt. And—get this!—the tip is refillable! So instead of throwing out another whole pen, you can just replace the tip. I think this is a brilliant idea, and I really want to try it. (I have liquid eyeliner dysfunction, so anything that may help me with my eyeliner applying skills…)

502978764_product_1 Autographique liner

Another Japanese influence Surratt drew on for his line was the difference in brow pencils, making his harder and more powdery. This gives the pencil more of a graphite pencil feel, and allows it to fill in between the hairs of the eyebrows more naturally. I’ve been trying to find a good one, and this sounds pretty excellent. (And it’s also refillable!)

502978770_product_1 Expressioniste Brow Pencil (This is just a link to the refill—the pencil seems to be sold out online.)

The article says that his line has a look-good-on-everyone red, and of course, I, in my search for the perfect red, NEED to try it. It’s the Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring. The product description says that it has a non-drying, suede-like, matte finish, which sounds just right for a red. And it looks pretty stunning to me!

502978588_product_1 Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring

Another great feature of the line is customizable palettes, which, if you’ve ever had a pre-made palette with colors you just don’t use, you know is a godsend.

In general, the line looks amazing (see here, here, and here).  And it doesn’t hurt that the man himself replied to my tweet! 🙂 As soon as I have some money, I am hightailing it to Barneys to try all of these out for myself!

Do any of these tempt you? What are you wishing for this week?

Les Cinq Petites Choses #2

It’s time again for 5 things that I’m loving lately.

#1 – My hair is curly, but it’s also very fine, so achieving any volume is always a challenge. I’ve tried a million different volumizing products that usually just manage to make my hair oily within a day and nothing much more. Kate of gh0sparties is always recommending products for this purpose, but being unemployed, I’ve only been able to add them to my shopping list for when I’m working again.

Fortunately for me, I received a replacement September Birchbox because of a damaged item, and this time around, it contained a travel size of Davines This Is A Sea Salt Spray. I actually use Davines shampoo and conditioner (I switch between Love Smoothing and Love Curl Enhancing), and I’ve been waiting very impatiently for their fabled OI All In One Milk to become available for purchase (and now to have money). So I was really excited to try this.

I like my curls to look more styled, so I didn’t use it for the beach wave effect, but instead for the promised volumizing action. And, guess what? My hair looked AMAZING after. With plenty of body. And it lasted for a couple of days, with no oiliness.

DSC_0971You’ve gotta love the name of this thing as much as the packaging.

#2 – A brand new knitting project with winter in mind. There is nothing I like more than a long, chunky scarf when the weather makes it so that you want to bundle up with one. And I’m a super slow knitter, so bulky scarves that knit up quickly are right up my alley. Plus, finding the perfect pattern to pair with the perfect colorway of yarn is like finding balance in the universe.

That’s where the Panda Scarf pattern by Kelly McClure comes in, combined with Plucky Bulky in Vintage Icebox by the Plucky Knitter.

DSC_0977It’s going to look like icicles!!

DSC_0975It’s so fluffy!!

#3 – A little splurge I allowed myself was to purchase one of my coveted fall nail polishes, Peace, Love & OPI by OPI (as pictured here with Illamasqua Stance). I saw it in and ad, and I just had to have it. I love the duochrome colors. I love the color combination possibilities.

And another great find in my September Birchbox was my Ruffian nail polish in Delirium. As I mentioned in my video, I was delighted to receive that color, because it’s the one I wanted the most. It’s an absolutely gorgeous shade of purple (as seen here), and purple IS my favorite color.

DSC_0978Technically these are 2 things, but I’m just filing them under “nail polish.” 😉

#4 – One of the things I have been doing to try and improve my French is to read a lot of blogs written in French (salut à tous!), as well as to watch a lot of French-speaking YouTubers. It has definitely helped my listening comprehension, and I’m so glad at how much more I’m understanding (IF ANY FRENCH SPEAKERS ARE READING THIS—I had never heard of the verb “craquer” before and now EVERYONE is using it. Is this a new popular word or was it always used?). Sadly, my speaking still is pretty abysmal, as you might have heard if you watched my last video.

One particular tutorial I loved was this Autumn look by Julielovesmac07. The weather in New York hasn’t seemed to be able to settle on Autumn yet, weaving back and forth between Indiam summer and fall, but this makeup tutorial by Julie just SCREAMS apple cider and pumpkin picking. And luckily, I had all the eye shadow colors and similar blush. I’ve just got to work on the lip color! Even if you don’t speak a word of French, you’ll be able to follow along with her. And she has a ton of other great video tutorials.

Julie Look how pretty she looks!

#5 – My friend Amielle has done more by her age than I ever knew was possible to do at 21. Previously an au pair in the French Alps, she is now looking after the children for a family in Madrid (lucky bitch ;)), learning a new language, and documenting all of it, diligently, on her blog (since December 2010! THAT is dedication I, as a failed blogger, cannot conceive of!).

She studied as a photojournalist, so her posts are full of beautiful photography of her travels. But it’s the entries populated with her wry humor and thoughtful introspection (and, sometimes, amazing gifs) that blow me away. And if you don’t like any of that, her “Things I’m Loving” at the end of each entry has introduced me to so many cool, useful, entertaining, and educational things. It’s basically a post like this in every single one of her posts. You should go read them.

Amielle My fake little sister is adorable, no?

What things are you loving lately? I’d love to hear!

October 2013 Birchbox Unboxing

Hello everyone! I decided to keep up the unboxing videos of my monthly Birchbox, even though my video editing skills have not improved, and I received my Birchbox later than everyone else I know. I also threw in some of the very little French I can speak (I’m so much better at understanding and reading 🙁 ).

In case you’re not familiar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.

As you can tell, I’m pretty disappointed with this month’s box. First of all, I didn’t get mine till Saturday the 12th, way later than everyone else I know. I received a broken item, and did not receive the one thing I really wanted. I have emailed them about the broken eye shadows already, so we’ll see what happens. (I’ve received a succession of damaged items from them, so it’s extra disappointing.)

As always, If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. If you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

What did you get in your box?