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?

Anatomy of a skin crisis

A few months ago I got a reaction on my forehead. Picture very angry skin, super irritated and extremely sensitive. Yes. Was joyful. It came back a month later, and basically now every other week my skin, well on my forehead only (and sometimes around my nose), is majorly freaking out, and I have no idea why.

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums.

My GP suggested it could be seborrheic dermatitis. I’ve been trying out this Ducray cream, that seems to help, but I might actually have to just book an appointment with my dermatologist but it takes ages here in France to get one. 

So in the meantime, I have tried to save my skin. I will however, keep you updated if I make any major discovery related to the issue my skin seems to be having !

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Back to basics

First, I stopped all the lovely, beautiful, chic and somewhat expensive serums. I thought it might be best to go fragrance free in my skincare and come back to basics. We are very lucky us french, to find the brand Avène in every pharmacy. Though if you live in the UK, La Roche Posay is a very similar brand, brilliant as well.

Avène basically covers every skin condition. Just for a little bit of background, it is a cult brand, based on the use of thermal water which Avène itself describes as “a natural soothing source clinically shown by over 150 studies to soothe, soften and calm the skin.”

There’s a range for very sensitive skin with sterile products. I thought it would be best to be ultra safe with my cleanser and moisturizer. It helped a lot, now I can calm my skin down very easily when it’s irritated.

Also, anecdotic but I stopped to put makeup on my forehead. I only wear minimal makeup anyway so I’m pretty sure only I can see it… And I don’t even care if anyone can to be honest, I have to save my forehead people !

So here’s what I do now, not just when there’s a crisis, but every day since I’ve had this major reaction that keeps coming back.

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Morning 

Cleanse : when in crisis Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion, if not, the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser which is very gentle as well.

Tone : Avène Thermal Water or Serozinc by La Roche Posay

Moisturize : Avène skin recovery cream

Night

First cleanse : I just bought the cleanser Caroline Hirons recommends for intolerant skins, the very famous Take The Day Off cleansing balm by Clinique. I absolutely love it. It’s not fragranced which surprisingly does not make it less joyful because the consistency is perfect, and it leaves the skin extra clean and soft. I think it is going to be my n°1 cleansing balm now.

Second cleanse : back at it with the Avène Tolérance Extrême Lotion.

If I travel, I’d only bring this Avène Lotion, and cleanse twice with it.

Tone and moisturize steps are also the same as the morning ones.

Voilà ! Hope it’ll help some of you.

What do you do when your skin is angry and you can’t figure out why ?

A story about cleansing

When I was 17, (not a very good year despite what Sinatra says), I just would not do anything skincare-wise to my face. Then in my twenties, I’d wash it with a Dove Soap, the classic one – which to this day I find is the best smelling soap on earth – and tadam, that was moi done. 

We had body lotions, hair products, and skincare but to me it all looked the same.

For about 2 years, my step dad who’s a journalist, received tones of beauty products from pharmacy french skincare brands, aka the dream.

He’d come home and give it all to my mum and I, and we’d go through everything and share. It was fun, but I was not obsessed. Well, now that I think about it, I was intrigued and lost. It was nice to have free products, but I did not understand the purpose of that many creams. We had body stuff, hair products, and skincare but to me it all looked the same.

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Skincare magic

I did try everything though… because I’d always been fascinated by the fact that, in a pot could be (or so I thought) a special formula that would change something on your face or body. It is kind of magical. But I’d use one product for one day, maybe two, and give up.

One day, my step dad contacted the PR company and told them to stop send all this free stuff. In fact, he first thought it was a one-shot PR delivery, it turned out it wasn’t, and he was not going to review it as it was not his journalism specialty at all, so it actually was useless for the PR company to keep sending all these goodies.

And to be honest, I just forgot about all these lovely products.

I’d never really talked about beauty with my mum or any of my friends. I even thought it was shallow and I was proud not to care about such superficial matter.

fullsizeoutput_1c86Garance Doré, Dove Soap & the rest is history

Then blogging came along. I discovered Garance Doré and with her, brands I’d never heard of like Kiehl’s.

I was completely obsessed with Garance, her clothes, the stories she would tell us… It felt like a new world was opening to me. 

In 2010, I was 21 at the time, had graduated from a Journalism Master, was freelancing a bit, but mainly was bored and scared about my career’s future, when I saw this article on Garance’s website.

“I had this secret that would make my skin feel clean and it was cheap and so freaking cool”, I thought.

She had done an interview with the french ELLE about her beauty routine. And the first product she mentioned was… the dove soap. She’d wash her face with it morning and evening to mattify her combination skin. OK. The Dove Soap. The one I could easily get my hands on at Monoprix or anywhere for that matter.

Needless to say I got it, and started to wash my face with it morning and night, and it just felt amazing you know. I was the closest I would ever be to being the most famous french blogger in NYC. “I had this secret that would make my skin feel clean and it was cheap and so freaking cool”, I thought.

Now when I think about it (I read Caroline Hirons religiously and double cleanse, and exfoliate and use serum and basically spend all my pocket money on beauty products), I’m horrified because I would NEVER use a soap to wash my face.

Still. My skin felt tight. But Beauty started to make me dream…