Tag: traveling

Shani Asks You Sundays – Foreign Customs

Oh, hello. Back at home and missing France already. Walking around New York, it’s all I can do not to say, “Pardon!” when I bump into someone. But that’s not what I find myself missing most.

What are the favorite foreign customs you’ve observed and/or picked up while traveling?

For me, it’s walking into a store, finding the person in there, and saying, “Bonjour.” Not to mention the, “Merci! Au revoir!” on the way out. I know that French people have a reputation for being rude, but I find that so polite and human, if not friendly. In America, sales assistants will come up and ask you if you need help, but no one gives a fig if you walk out without saying a word. I really miss it when I get back home.

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Shani Asks You Sundays – Traveling Shopping Experience

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*This entry has been prescheduled to post while I am out of the country, so if you comment and I don’t reply right away, that’s why.*

This week’s question again comes from my friend Andrea, and seems fitting since I am currently traveling.

What was your best or most memorable shopping experience while traveling?

There are SO many to pick from, for me! But last year around this time when I was in Spain, I scored my Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain in Garçonne for about €23 at a random tax-free store on the street in Malaga!! (It retails for $49.50 at home.) 😀

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Mini haul: Tom Ford Cheek Brush

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*This entry has been prescheduled to post while I am out of the country, so if you comment and I don’t reply right away, that’s why.*

Tom Ford Cheek Brush You guys know how I feel about my proper tools. I like to be able to apply my makeup with instruments that will work the best and get the most out of my products. So it was time to buy the Tom Ford Cheek Brush.

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Tips for Shopping Overseas

Shopping overseas It will surprise no one that I like to shop. Or that I like to travel. Or that I like to shop while I’m traveling. Since I’m heading off to France (I know, again) in a week and a half, I thought I would write up a guide with everything I’ve learned about shopping overseas.

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Incoming search terms:

  • TipsforShoppingOverseas-shedreamsinperfectfrench

Review: Benefit Lollitint

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Benefit Lollitint It is far from being spring here, but the minute I saw Benefit Lollitint, I knew it had to be mine. I’m not one to fall for the Pantone color of the year stuff, but I just knew that the very cool, purple-y pink would work really well with my complexion.

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Wishlist Wednesday #24 – Makeup Brush Roll

It’s no secret I love to travel. And it’s no secret I have a lot of makeup, and travel pretty high maintenance. But the bane of my traveling existence is trying to fit all my makeup brushes into cosmetics bags. I have this ONE brush that is just too long and it’s a struggle every time I travel.

I’ve thought of buying a travel brush kit, but there’s invariably something missing in one that I need. Plus, I’ve invested in high-quality brushes, so why use something inferior while traveling?

So many of my knitting friends have these beautiful rolls to house their knitting needles, and I think it’s high time I invest in a roll for my makeup brushes!

Of course, I turned to Etsy, as I do for all my craft-related needs. I found a few potentials.

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Makeup brush roll and pencil roll gift set by CapricaCreations86

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Review: Illamasqua Neutral Palette

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I first ran across the gorgeous bronze-y, antique gold shade in the Illamasqua Neutral Palette in this post, and I pretty much decided then and there that it needed to be in my life. Then I got lured in by the Chanel Charming Palette (damn you, Lisa Eldridge [just kidding, I love you, call me]), and it drove all thoughts of the Illamasqua palette out of my head. Well, after returning the Chanel palette, I wandered over to the Illamasqua counter and righted this terrible wrong. And now this goodness is in my life.

Illamasqua Neural Palette
Illamasqua Neutral Palette – $46.50

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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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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!

About a girl

Well, then. Here we are.

Since this is the beginning, there are 2 things that you should know about me.

1. La rêve! Only in my dreams do I dream in perfect French. Despite the fact that I’ve been learning for a couple of years now, I’m still even hopeless when I speak! But I like to pretend, and at least j’essaie (I try). And I’m persistent. And a bit obsessed with all things French. Have any of you learned a second language and have any tips? I am all ears, both asleep and awake! And if any of you speak French and I MISuse it, please correct me!

2. I am a failed blogger. I always begin with great intentions, and then somewhere along the way (sometimes after only the first entry), I lose all momentum. Under my belt, I have a music blog (my best attempt to date), a pseudo-knitting blog, a blog about my attempts at learning French, and a blog about what it’s like to be a fan of European football in America (so shameful, this one). It occurred to me that part of the problem might be dividing all my various interests up into different blogs. I fear alienating people who may begin to follow me for specific content with other content they have no interest in, but consider this your fair warning.

So, c’est moi! That’s me.

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…okay, I lied. There are more than 2 things.

3. I’m obsessed with makeup and beauty products. When I was a little girl and my friends would come over to visit, we would play with this eyeshadow palette that my mother had. We would always come out of it looking like little clowns, but that was our idea of fun. And it still is mine. I embarrassingly just earned my entry into Sephora’s VIB Rouge program. Which, basically, means that I spent way too much money on makeup this year. Whoops.

4. Ditto for being obsessed with fashion and style. Alas, that was not as easy to do with my mom’s stuff. Although I surely toddled around perilously in her heels well before I could actually fit into them.

5. Strangely, despite my Francophilia, I am also an Anglophile. Hey, the two of you may have a rivalry going on, but as an American, I can remain blissfully unaffected. This means my vocabulary is peppered with French words AND Britishisms. It’s a wonder anyone ever understands me. In particular, I adore Scotland, and it’s so bad, I’ve been 11 times. (I also have dear friends there now, so it’s not quite as bad as it seems!) It also explains how I fell into liking what the British call football (and what I will never call the “s” word), even if I do support a Spanish team. (Although, being American, I also like baseball. You resolve it. I’ve grown to live with it.)

6. I am never so happy as when I’m traveling. So I hope to share my future adventures with you all, as well as some of the things I’ve already learned and places I’ve already been.

7. I have never shot and uploaded a video to YouTube before, but I hope to attempt to for future entries. Please, go easy on me!

8. Oh! And I knit. Slowly, but pretty well.

So, basically, all these numbers add up to tell you that this blog is going to be a hodgepodge of all the varying and contrasting interests that make up me, and I hope you will stick around to see how it turns out! (I especially hope I do, ha.)

Merci, et, à la prochaine! Until next time!