Monday Highlight: On Autumn Light And Clementines

This week’s highlight is a tad different. It is simply about appreciating the little things which is something I’ve been able to do lately, and it feels NICE.

I haven’t discovered a wonderful new podcast (hit me up with your suggestions by the way), nor have I read a great book (though I just bought myself “Call me by your Name” by Andre Aciman). What I have discovered however is how profound it is to sometimes appreciate the art of doing nothing. I am a daydreamer, and I like to just sit there and think. But with the constant pressure of social media, added to the basic every day life pressure, and the “will be 30” soon pressure, there’s just too much pressure to make the most of it/document/share/experience/ you know?

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So instead of just beating myself up with all that, I did nothing special last weekend and I loved it. Did not pick up my phone that much as well, which we’ll have to talk about in more details soon because the new Iphone feature that tells you how long you spend on your phone is the scariest thing ever.

Anyway, I’ve loved eating clementines and witnessing the autumn light in all its glory. Oh and wearing extremely pink blush, and a lot of it. And buying overpriced spices to cook something from the lovely Jerusalem Cookbook and instead devour a saucisson with bread and cheese. And drink English tea with so much milk in it it should be illegal.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Do you find it hard to enjoy life without documenting it, overthinking it, putting it in (scary as hell) perspective?

Try to master the art of doing nothing just for a couple of hours. Might help!

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Blogging On A Budget And The Tyranny Of New Releases

The other day I was telling someone  “I don’t know what to write about on Friday. I want it to be a beauty-related post but it’s not that easy to write because I’ve already told the readers about my all time favorite products and my budget doesn’t really allow me to get new stuff constantly“. That’s where I thought, here’s a post idea!

I buy the products I use myself and to be honest, I’ve been really into fashion recently, so my pocket money goes into dresses, jeans, and I’ve been trying for ages to find sandals that actually are comfortable and look good, not an easy task let me tell you! So there’s nothing new for me at the moment, makeup or skincare wise. And guess what? It’s fine. Especially because, I have a few articles all about what I use and love, and maybe you haven’t read them yet…

Buy new stuff turns into new discovery, turns into research online, turns into “oh I did not know that product, oh what’s the brands, oh it sounds like it’s going to change my life”, turns into well, buy new stuff.

Ha! Also, truly, it’s fine because why would we always have to get new stuff you know? I have a friend who’s as fund of makeup and skincare as I am, and we text and talk about it a lot. It’s great, it’s like when I was a kid, playing, it’s SO MUCH fun to get to share this passion. We both get really excited about new releases, new trends, makeup items, skincare discoveries. But I think it’s fair to say how aware we both are of how much of a “vicious circle of consumption” it can be.

That’s how it works for me : Buy new stuff turns into new discovery, turns into research online, turns into “oh I did not know that product, oh what’s the brands, oh it sounds like it’s going to change my life“, turns into well, buy new stuff. That’s one of the reasons why I loved skincare more than makeup when I first started to get into the beauty world. So many products feel like they’re going to make you bloom into a new version of yourself.

I remember back in December, having a couple of weeks where I felt quite down, and all I could think about was buying skincare. (…) I kept ordering stuff that I couldn’t wait to try, but hey, breaking news, I was still depressed, with a little less money in my bank account.

A version with a glow, healthy looking skin, fuller brows, plumped lips, smooth legs and bright under-eyes. I still deeply believe that skincare does actually change the way your skin looks and feels because there’s so many amazing products out there. Still, when you find a routine that works for you, that you sometimes switch up a little but mainly stick to, what’s left to talk about, when in the meantime, the beauty industry releases new products almost every single day? Honestly, I’ve completely screwed up my skin at some point because I was trying everything under the sun so I’m done doing that. Here’s the thing as well, I’m into this new trend thing, that you might have heard about… saving money!

I remember back in December, having a couple of weeks where I felt quite depressed, and all I could think about was buying skincare. I guess in a way I wanted to take care of myself, not just on the outside though. The action of applying skincare products really relaxes me and comforts me. That’s when my skin freaked out in a major way. I kept ordering stuff that I couldn’t wait to try, but hey, breaking news, I was still depressed, with a little less money in my bank account. Sometimes I buy a serum, I research it a lot, take the time to think about whether or not I’m going to buy it and I get really excited about the product, the idea of using it, the action of using it, and usually, I love the result. But when feeling down, it simply doesn’t do the trick. Regarding makeup, it’s a game I LOVE to play, but I simply can’t spend more of what I’m able to on it, and I have to stay wise, you know? Also, I’m quite low-key with makeup. I don’t wear tons, and for example, one eyeshadow palette is all I need. However, blush? It gives me life and I could buy a new one every week.

I just thought I’d share my view on this here because maybe you’re feeling the same or maybe you think this is old news, either way I’d like to know your point on view!So, let’s review the situation here : I don’t need anything at the moment skincare and makeup wise, because I’m all set, got a nice routine at the moment , AND, because I only buy stuff when I finish a product.

Regarding skincare, the last thing I bought was the Clinique Take The Day Off balm because it’s great, doesn’t irritate my skin, it’s basically a safe purchase that I “needed” because I have just finished my Oh My Cream Cleansing Balm. My last makeup purchase is from Glossier, I got the Haze Cloud Paint Blush thanks to a friend who brought it back for me from the US, but I don’t have my hands on it yet. The other stuff I got from Glossier? Well, old favorites. A Milky Jelly Cleanser, Boy Brow in Brown, the Glossier You solid perfume which will be a new discovery, and Cloud Paint in Puff that I already own but have almost finished.

I have a few skincare discoveries in the making but I haven’t been testing them for long enough to tell you about it. Though I do mention what I’m using at the moment on my Insta Stories if you fancy watching that! Do let me know your thoughts on this topic and let’s start a conversation, shall we?

Back to cult classic : Nars Laguna Bronzer

This article is the start of a new series on Le Beauty Journal, about cult classic makeup items, that are either really worth the hype, or maybe not so much. Because with new makeup and skincare launches almost every single day, I feel like it’s also interesting to revisit classic products that maybe are not talked about that much anymore.

I first discovered Nars Laguna Bronzer when I bought the gorgeous Nars Virtual Domination blush palette, because I’m a blush addict, and it had the bronzer in it. I still have the palette, and completely used up the bronzer. It is brilliant. Though I have to say, it was far less pigmented in the palette that it actually is on its own, which apparently, often happen with limited edition items. I decided to buy the original version because I missed it and love it even more, because a little goes a long way !

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Anyway, I LOVE this bronzer. It looks dark but really, applied with the right brush, it’s fabulous. It has a slight shimmer running through but it’s barely noticeable. I’m not big on shimmers so no worries, you won’t look like a disco ball, I promise !

Laguna gives an instant glow. It’s a very creamy powder which might sound weird but basically, it glides on the skin and does not ever look patchy. The color has quite a bit of red in it and I believe that’s why I enjoy it so much. You know when you naturally tan, how at first it can look a tiny bit red ? Not sunburned, but simply slightly red. Well, Nars Laguna has the power to replicate a real tan in my opinion. Not only that, it also provides a gorgeous sheen that makes you look like a bronzed goddess. I know.

It’s also great as eyeshadow, and instantly gives depth to the eyes, when applied and subtly blended in the crease. It’s so versatile, and really has my back when I feel a bit meh, or want to look like I actually have experienced sun… which to be honest, I don’t even remember how it feels like !

No brainer, game changer. Do you have a favorite bronzer ?

Face brushes 101

A few of my friends have asked me questions about brushes, and it seems like it can be a whole unknown world so I decided I’d tell you all about the ones I own and why ! I don’t tend to wear eye makeup, and when I do I usually apply products with my fingers. I might use one or two brushes but to be honest, I’m not at the stage where I feel I can’t you give advice on that yet. Today’s article is about complexion a.k.a bronzer, blusher, setting powders, concealer, that’s it.

First off I think – if you don’t own any brushes – to get a good base to work with, you should definitely check out Real Techniques. That’s what I did. Created by the makeup artists sisters Sam and Nic Chapman, they are great, well priced, soft, and super well made brushes. I got the “Core Collection” featuring all the essentials : contour brush, pointed foundation brush, detailer brush and a buffing brush. I only really use the contour brush to, well, contour but also to set concealer with a little powder and sometimes to blend concealer (works nicely). I also like the buffing brush to apply concealer all over the face, or blend a CC/BB cream, though I have to admit I truly prefer using a beauty blender to seamlessly blend the product. Real Techniques is simply the perfect entry point to your brushes collection.

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Now, let’s get more into this. Here are the only brushes I use day to day. Oh also, they have names and are meant to be used for this or that… I don’t really care for that.

Actually lots of makeup artists, Sam and Nic Chapman included, say that you should use them how you want to. Brushes are versatile, don’t be put off by the name and think “oh this is a foundation brush, I can’t use it for bronzer then”. Just give it a try and experiment !

Real Techniques Powder brush

I use this big powder brush to diffuse bronzer all over my face, or to set my makeup with a light powder with not much coverage. It’s a quick and easy brush, great for all over, not so much for precision.

Real Techniques Blush Brush

I would not necessarily use this brush for blusher, because it’s a bit too big for my cheeks. I love it for bronzer though, like the Nars Laguna, and I do use it for blusher that are super pigmented because the bristles on the brush diffuse pigments in a light way which is perfect if you don’t want to look like a clown with red cheeks.

Real Techniques Stippling brush

This one is amazing for cream and liquid blush. I put the product on the back of my hand, swirl the brush in it, and then gently dab on the cheeks for a super fast and gorgeous finish. I’ve recently discovered how good it is for foundation. Its super soft bristles really distribute the product evenly and it gives a soft finish, with good coverage because it does not drink up all the product. Perfect combination with Daniel Sandler’s watercolor liquid blushers and Glossier Cloud Paints.

Real Techniques Powder bleu Soft Finishing Brush

I LOVE this new addition to my brushes collection. It’s perfect for powder blush, AND bronzer if you want to be quite precise with your application and slightly contour. Extremely soft and amazingly gentle for my sensitive skin.

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Eco Tool Precision Blush brush

Again, good for powder blush, if you really want to go for it. Its bristles are densely packed so the brush does give a good amount of pigment, better to use with a blush or a bronzer that’s not too pigmented or too bright. I love it with the Max Factor Cream Puff Powder Blushers.

Kiko Face Stippling Foundation Brush

This is my go-to for bronzer, because of the two levers of bristles on it : it gives a lovely light yet noticeable result. It has stayed really soft and is gorgeous to use if you want to build up a healthy glow with something like Chanel Les Beiges Powder.

Beauty Blender

This is my go-to to blend liquid or cream base products like Glossier’s stretch concealer, the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC cream, the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer. I run it under water and keep it quite wet, so the product really melts into the skin. It gives a flawless finish and really ties the complexion together. It’s the one thing I would not dare to imagine myself without.

Do you guys use brushes ? What are you favorites ? I’d love to know !

Makeup trends : the ones I love and the ones I’m ready to say goodbye to

I would not say I follow trends, but they often make me react. They either inspire me or annoy me so I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about the trends I love that I seem to have been witnessing online & on Instagram and the ones I’m ready to say goodbye to.

Blusher around the eyes – The Igari Look

Today, I decided to push my pink blusher up to the brown bone and into the crease. How editorial of me, right ? You must be aware by now of my addiction to blusher, especially super pink ones, so when I first saw this new way of applying blusher I instantly fell in love with the idea. It apparently comes from Korea, and is called the Igari look. The idea here is to mimic the way your cheeks flush when you’re a bit tipsy, it’s also called the hangover makeup (not in my world it’s not, I’d love to look like I have a pink glow when I’m hangover…), and consist in applying blusher from the cheeks up to under the eyes almost. An other version that I love, is what I tried to do this morning – my own subtle adaptation I should say – is blooming blusher around the eyes. Joyful, fun, and a good way to give your face some colors, without having to try too hard.

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Super matte brown/dark pink liquid lipsticks

You’ve seen them everywhere for the past few years, you might have tried it, or thought it was a cool revival of the 90’s… I did too, though I was never super into this look on me. I loved it on some girls, but with my features and dark hair, I find it was aging. I believe it all began with Kylie Jenner’s lipstick range, who I simply did not know of when the trend started. Now I do, don’t worry ! Anyway, at first I looked at this trend and thought it was awful… Then, I don’t know if it’s because I’d seen it everywhere, I started to be fascinated by matte brown-ish colors, and by how easy you could cheat the shape and size of your lips. As a result, I did get the cult lipstick Mac Mehr inspired by the lovely Lily Pebbles. She pretty much made me want to buy it right away when I saw her wearing it. The matte liquid lipstick felt a bit too much, but this look was right up my street. Mehr is a dark matte pink with sort of brown-y undertones. Applied on top of Mac Soar Lip Liner, a pinkish brown as they say on the website, it creates a gorgeous deep pinky-nude, and gives the lips a full, plumped effect, Kylie Jenner-esque. Undeniably an interesting trend although I’m glad to see it slowly going away !

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Instagram brows vs More natural brushed up brows

I mean, I don’t even know what to say. I hate Instagram brows. You know when they look extremely defined, almost geometrically perfect with concealer on top/underneath to make them pop, and a tale that’s super long… Let’s face it, basically drawn on. NO. Not my jam. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of brushed up brows, super natural, quite full but not with a lot of product. I’m no expert when it comes to trends, however I have witnessed this look online a lot over the past few months. The first time I encountered the brushed up brows was on Glossier’s website, all the models wearing Boy Brow were using the spoolie to really push up the hair. They actually say on the shop, to use Boy Brow with “upward strokes to fluff and shape brows into place”. I’ve been doing that : game changer. Brows look fuller, fluffier for sure and it brings life to the face.

Cushion technology & Glass skin

These have changed the landscape of foundation. Like BB creams and CC creams, Korea came first cushion-wise, and it’s now everywhere, which makes me really happy. I love the dewy finish it gives, how compact it is if you fancy carrying around your foundation, how easy it is to apply, and over-all how you can never look cakey with a cushion foundation because of how light and buildable the textures are. I’d love to see more blushers and bronzers in cushion form ! This to me, goes hand in hand with the glass skin trend : dewy almost out-of-the-shower wet looking skin. I find it interesting though I think too much glow kills the glow if you know what I mean. Still, something to look out for !

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Bare Nails & sophisticated designs

Do you remember when new nail polish shades would excite you ? I don’t. Because all I’ve seen recently are bare nails. Clean, short, no nail polish nails. Or, on the opposite, super sophisticated, multiple shades in one design. All or nothing right ? I like both !

Metallic lipstick & lip gloss

Fenti Beauty’s lip gloss is all the rage these days. A metallic rose gold, which sounds weird, but actually looks great on the lips. The Makeup Artist Violette recently posted a photo on her instagram of metallic lips which really inspired me. I would not necessarily replicate that in real life, but I love how it looks. I also feel like lip glosses are coming back and I’m not mad about it. Juicy everything seems to be a thing !

Do you follow trends ? Or could you not care less ?

A story about le pink blush

I believe it was Christmas. I got a Sephora Gift Card. And even if it should be quite cool (big important problems I know), it felt like I had to really think through what I would buy. Let me explain : I could either just buy my regular serum and be wise in a way. OR I could just get myself THE THING(SSSS) I’d never usually buy with my own money because I’m quite cautious like that.

Because it was Christmas I thought «  I would love to own a lovely Chanel something ».

Because I have to say, in terms of luxury and super chic packaging, Chanel is an inspiration.

And, I love blusher. Blusher would be THE thing I take away with me if I only have to use one product for the rest of my life. 

My tip is that I always put a touch of blush in the center of my face, down my nose, to make it look like I’ve been running or something. Which is, of course, something I would actually never do.

I had watched Sali Hughes in the Bathroom with Mary Greenwell which to me is basically the best series on makeup on youtube. It definitely made me fall in love with beauty. I remember Mary Greenwell saying with her fabulous voice « Chanel of course, my darling Chanel. I love Chanel Blushers, they’re so good ! »

I knew it was what I should get.

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I love pink blusher. It somehow seems to be less popular online that apricot, coral, peachy colored blush. But to me pink is a classic. I would be the girl with a gorgeous Chanel Pink Blush in her handbag. Tellement chic.

After I don’t know how many Chanel swatches online and in real life, I decided to get the Joues Contrastes in the color 72, Rose Initial. To be honest, the name really helped me to choose… It’s a true pink with the softest golden sheen. Nothing like Nars Orgasm. It’s very subtle and looks natural. The brush which comes with it actually does a decent job.

I put it quite high on the cheeks and on the apples. Also, my tip is that I always put a touch of blush in the center down my nose, to make it look like I’ve been running or something. Which is, of course, something I would actually never do. Run ? NON. 

It simply gives the loveliest glow to the cheeks.

Oh and also it smells like actual roses.

And the packaging itself is a little work of art.

Ok I’m gonna stop now. It’s parfait.

 

 

The blush I used to hate…

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Blush is the one beauty product I enjoy using the most I think. But more on why in a upcoming article. Today, I’d like to talk to you about how I bought a super hyped up product because of its cult aspect, why I regretted it and why I’d do it again.

I got it and tried it a few times, and hated it.

I bought Nars Orgasm because, when I first discovered the brand, so many people recommended it. Nars is such a cult brand, and they have so many products, blush seemed like the perfect entry point to discover what Nars is all about. After benchmarking like crazy, I decided to go with the one that might be the most talked about : Orgasm.

Potentially the one Sarah Jessica Parker wore when she was playing Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City which is a show I still love. Also THE blush that is supposed to make you look like you’ve just had an orgasm hence the name. I mean, who has shimmery cheeks after sex ? Anyways, the hype worked, I decided to buy it.

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I swatched it in a shop and realized it was full of shimmer. But like glittery shimmers. And to be honest I hate that. I don’t want to look like a disco ball, I love the no makeup makeup kind of look. But it was at the beginning of my love of beauty, and I really really wanted to give it a try, to have it on my bathroom shelf.

I got it and tried it a few times, and hated it.

A few weeks ago, as I was clearing out my beauty products, I could not help but wonder why I was not able to get rid of this blush. It somehow had developed a sentimental value. I guess because it’s one of the first expensive, cult, cool makeup item I got.

So I forced myself to try it again. I used the Real Techniques Powder Blue Soft Finishing Brush, which is extremely soft, but also diffuses the powder pigments in the best way.

And I loved it. I mean, LOVED it.

Its lasting power is insane, probably the best out of all the blushers I own. It’s easy to apply, blendable, and it creates the most gorgeous sheen on the cheek bone.

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It’s still really shimmery don’t get me wrong, but it’s basically a highlighter and blusher all in one which is great.

The color is so pretty, it’s a reddish pink with a golden hue which maybe does not sound appealing but with this dull winter light, it gives life to my tired face. I would not wear it in spring or summer because of the shimmers that would probably end up all over my sweaty face, but at this time of year it is exactly what I want.

Mine as you’ll be able to see is shattered – because it fell on the floor numerous times – but it’s now well loved which is all that matters.