Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Travel log: South of France, April 2014

south of france I know it’s months later, but I thought I would share some of my photos from my trip to the south of France in April. We were staying in a hotel in Juan-les-Pins, near Nice.

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Under the weather

I’m not feeling great and can’t muster up the energy for a post, so instead I’m sharing some nighttime photos I took walking to the train of the NY skyline. The only thing I miss about that commute.

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OOTD: Are You Going My Way?

Affilier Acheté

OOTD When you work in a very industrial area and come upon a building decked out like a yellow taxi cab, what else are you supposed to do but take photos?!

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OOTD: Highland Fling

Affilier DSC_2171 I know that I haven’t really featured any lifestyle/life in NY posts lately. I guess that’s what happens when you get a job. With terrible hours. That’s not in Manhattan. I really haven’t done anything or gone anywhere. I didn’t even think that the area was a good place to photography my outfits, till someone told me that grungy industrial provides a good backdrop for “fashion.”

You tell me!

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The Search for the Perfect Red: Illamasqua Box Matte Lipstick

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On my continuing quest to find the perfect red,* I decided it was high time I hit the Illamasqua counter. They have an amazing array of colors in their lipstick line, and I had read about Maneater and Sangers, in particular.

(*I’m starting to think there’s no such thing, but more on that a different time.)

Color me surprised that I wound up walking out with a shade I hadn’t even heard of. Box, described as a deep, scarlet red, was actually created by Illamasqua’s creative director, Alex Box, as her signature red lipstick. So it looked like I was in good company!

To the video tape! I mean photos…

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Poll: Serge Lutens Pourpre Maure lipstick vs MAC Rebel lipstick

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Okay, it’s put up or shut up time, guys. I finally got around to comparing Serge Lutens Pourpre Maure with MAC Rebel. Just to try and talk myself out of it make sure before investing $75.

If I left it up to me, I know I would buy it no matter what. So I’m leaving it up to you.

I put one color on half my mouth and one color on the other half. I’m not telling you which is which, to prevent bias. Just let me know which color you like better, in general AND on me.

With flash

Without flash

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Red Romance—Serge Lutens Roman Rouge Lipstick

Affilier Acheté

You win some, you lose some. I’ve finally just started to get the hang of photographing myself with a tripod. I’d seen some gorgeous photos taken with a 50mm lens, so I decided to try mine. Did you know that I didn’t know until yesterday, despite the fact that I purchased the damn thing myself, that my lens wasn’t autofocus? Or maybe it used to work with my old camera?

Anyhoo. The photos I took are slightly out of focus. But you can still see.

I wanted to show you what color number 2, Roman Rouge, in the Serge Lutens sampler looks like. You know, the one I abandoned on the day in photos halfway through for Pourpre Maure.

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And yet somehow the door is in focus…

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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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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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While the cats are away…

There is nothing nicer than going into Manhattan on a holiday weekend when everyone else has gone home to see their families. (Sorry, transplants, but it’s true. :p )

We didn’t even have this in mind, when Rose and I decided to hit all the high-end department stores for some window shopping. (Yes, I like to torture myself, okay?)

We started with Henri Bendel (“Bendel’s”), since it opened earliest. The early bird gets the empty store, apparently!

Next we meandered up 5th Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman.

DSC_1472And I said, well that’s the one thing we’ve got…

DSC_1473Where else do you find huge snowlakes in the sky, other than Fifth Avenue?

DSC_1477Central Park in the distance…

DSC_1478The Plaza. Only Trump would get construction tarp that matches the facade!

And, of course, there were the Bergdorf windows.

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We headed downstairs to bask in the glory of their beauty basement. Rose was color matched for the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (sadly, she’s a mix of 2 shades, which is not wallet friendly at all!) and I fell in love with, and quickly walked away from, a Killian scent.

Also, as an afterthought, we passed by the Creed counter, and I sprayed a tester card with Acqua Fiorentina, at Rose’s urging. Stuck it in my pocket and forgot about it. I pulled it out a few hours later and OH MY GOD, THIS NEEDS TO BE MINE. (See? I just can’t stick to one scent.)

Next up was Barneys, where I expertly avoided the Serge Lutens counter for fear of temptation, completely ignored the Surratt counter out of self-defense, and stopped to drool at the MAKE counter. They have the prettiest shades of bright, colorful eyeshadow!

I went to be color matched at the Sunday Riley counter for their Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer, which was mentioned in this tutorial. For future reference. And was sat down and completely made over. By a woman with the most beautiful skin I have ever seen. (If she is using Sunday Riley products, then I should be, too. Which of course means I’m in big trouble, because those things are expensive.)

The primer is often just used as a foundation, and I do confess my skin looked great with just that. And despite it not being matte and despite her adding some Juno Transformative Lipid Serum (dry) oil on top, my skin was not an oily mess by the end of the day. Not as matte as I’m used to, but definitely an acceptable alternative.

Then we were on our way.

DSC_1480Roosevelt Island Tram in the distance.

DSC_1481I haven’t seen a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts since I was little!!

Some beverages followed, in turn followed by my second viewing of the weekend of Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I hated the first movie. Hated it. But despite certain gripes* about this one, I really loved it. Have you seen it? What did you think?

DSC_1482Times Square. Pretty to look at, terrible to walk through!

DSC_1483Do you?

DSC_1484Peek-a-boo!

Then I hit up Sephora for some samples, because a day in the city is nothing without my samples. Two locations provided a motherlode of goodness. Which is good, since my skin is still recovering from the Liz Earle debacle.

I was thinking of doing a write-up of the samples I’ve been trying and my verdicts. Any interest?

Have you tried any of those brands? Any favorite products?

What did you do this weekend?

I’m going to cut my Catching Fire thoughts for any possible spoilers. 😉

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