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?

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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 !

To powder or not to powder

Powders have always felt quite mysterious and chic to me. Though I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mum or a friend for that matter, actually use one. The first memory I have about powders is the Stay Matte from Rimmel, that I got at Monoprix, the equivalent of M&S in France I’d say. I used so much product on my brush and it was so damned matte that I simply decided to stay away from powders.

Back in the days, in high school for instance, some girls would wear powder foundation, but it was never the right shade nor the right finish because, well… it was before the internet and Youtube were really a thing so I guess it was harder to get good/personalized advices. If you’re wondering how old this sentence makes me feel, well, very…

I looked at powders thinking it looked lovely to have one in your bag, but I had no idea what I could do with it.

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Anyways, back to a few years ago. I had since discovered beauty blogs, and Youtube. At some point, everyone would talk about Hourglass illuminating powders, and because I had discovered online beauty content, I had also discovered the notion of glow. I’m realizing this as I’m writing : I don’t think glow was ever something I had in mind when I thought about makeup before that. I did enjoy blusher, but highlight and/or glow all over the face ? I did not even know what it was, and why I’d use a product to highlight some parts of my face or set my makeup with. I’m quite new to the concept of highlighting still. However when the Hourglass launched and took the internet/beauty world by storm, I suddenly became obsessed with the idea of giving this glow thing a try.

One night, after countless hours of looking at swatches online, reading reviews, trying to find less expensive dupes… I typed Net a Porter into my search bar, got on the Hourglass page, and ordered the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Dim Light. First Net a Porter order, first time I had bought a makeup item that costed more than 20 euros, I kind of closed my eyes when I clicked on “approve the payment”…

I do not regret buying this powder at all, I believe it is one of the best I ever bought. Actually, let me tell you about my four favorites powders. That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it ?

If you don’t know how to use yours, or if you should or should not buy one, here’s why I think they’re useful : I use powders to mattify the T-zone, to set the makeup and light up the face and to bronze, sometimes contour-ish, and give it some GLOW !

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Matify –  Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in the shade 53 – Beige Clair

This powder does what it says on the tin. It’s mattifying but keeps the natural glow of the skin. Let me explain : I use it on my T-zone or sometimes all over the face during summer. It looks quite natural and not cakey which I find really important. I like makeup that you can’t see, complexion wise. A lovely, glowy complexion’s my favorite makeup look, so matte powders could by definition, take away all the glow, and if the powder’s not fine enough, simply look too powdery. Not this one ! Also, it’s cheap (around 10 euros) !

Glow – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

This, even though it’s the first luxurious powder I ever bought, I liked but would not repurchase. Not because it’s bad. In my opinion, this powder is simply gorgeous. Super fine, lovely luminous finish, lasted me ages… I would not because I don’t regularly reach for it to finish off my makeup look. It’s the kind of powder that you’d use to set your makeup, so on your entire face, or to set concealer under the eyes without taking away luminosity, or you could if you’re quite fair, use it as a light contour/bronzer. But the powder I tend to get the most use out of is generally bronzer. I did love it but I simply don’t need a powder like that. I like quite dewy finish, that I get from my base, and to set I’d use something like Chanel Les Beiges, or a light bronzer. Which reminds me, I’d love to try their bronzer !

Bronzer – Nars Laguna

Especially great for summer, because it’s a tad too dark for me. I actually love it in winter because it gives some more than welcomed warmth to my face, without looking orange or too powdery. I choose to apply it with a Kiko Stippling brush, which is perfect to distribute a subtle amount of product. It has a slight shimmer running through it, not really noticeable at all. What’s noticeable however, is the satiny finish. This stuff’s glowy.

Bronze & Glow – Chanel Les Beiges – Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in shade 30 and 40

This is probably my favorite powder ever. It is extremely fine, the colors are perfect, not too warm, not too cold, and the concept is easy : giving glow. Which it absolutely does, without making the actual powder noticeable on the skin. If you had to buy one powder, and like subtle glow from within, try this one !

I had it in the shade 30, which probably suits me better than the 40 I now own, and I completely used it up. 30 was perfect because, I could simply use it to set my makeup, and add a touch of warmth to my face. In that case, I’m quite light-handed. OR, I could go to town with it, and really add almost a sun-kissed effect to my skin, if applied with a big brush, on my cheekbones, forehead, bridge of the nose and neck. The shade 40’s good to really bronze-up the face with, but to just add a healthy glow, it might be too dark if you’re quite fair. Still, I use it all the time as you can see !

So there you have it, I hope it was useful.

Do you use powders ? What are your favorites ?