5 Product Face

While I do love to take some time to sit down and do my make-up, more often than not I am in a rush to get out the door with just a few minutes to spare for my face.

I am by no means averse to leaving the house with a bare face, but I do have a little failsafe bundle of products to make me look more put together and awake if need be.

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To even out the face, I start with a little concealer. The Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Warm is great because its light tone adds a lot of brightness to any red or dull areas of the face. While it is a little drying under the eyes, it works perfectly in a pinch and a little product goes a long way.

To set the concealer and take away the skin through the center of my face, I dust a little amount of the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder in 52 Vanilla across the skin, which works great and doesn’t look at all unnatural. The powder is finely milled and low coverage, so it is amazing for finishing of the face without caking up product.

Because I am fantastically pale, I will always add a little bronzer to make myself look a bit healthier. The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is an amazing shade for pale skins as it is light and not too orange, leaving a believable sun kissed glow.

For brows, I have been favoring the old school method of powder and an angled brush lately, but in a hurry, I will always go back to the Hourglass Arch brow Sculpting Pencil in Ash. It provides color and hold very quickly while leaving the brows natural and defined. I have used the color Soft Brunette before, but Ash is almost the same if a bit cooler.

Finally, Mascara is the essential for me and my love for the Catrice Glam & Doll False Lashes is still going strong. It is quick and precise, creating a beautifully defined and voluminous fan of lashes that lasts throughout the day without smudging or flaking.

And there you have it, a five minute, five product face that looks natural and pretty without much faff.

Home Edit: Shelf Styling

If you look at my Pinterest, it is blatantly clear that I have a thing for walls of shelves. So when I moved a few months ago, there was no question that I had to install one of those myself. After a taxing trip to Ikea and a long night of leveling out the individual shelves, I now have my lovely wall that stores everything from books to paperwork to mementos.

Along the way, I have made some mistakes but after I’ve found a method to my madness, I have corralled a few tips to style a shelf wall. Keep in mind that this is by no means perfect (see the vestigal cable at the bottom) since it is a space that needs to hold everything and anything, not just the pretty stuff.

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  • books, books, books – I know not everyone is a big reader, but in my opinion, shelves are for books and that has become the main focus of my wall. I know stacks of coffee table books are way more chic than rows of mismatched paperbacks, but for me, it is much more stimulating to see my favorite novels in neat order (which is why I opted out of the oh so popular rainbow organizing system).
  • cohesion – as much as I could I have tried to keep everything that is not a book in a concise color palette, bar for a few pops of color. As you can see, I have some pretty statement wallpaper right to side of the shelf wall, so I tied to keep it as muted as possible on the shelves with lots of white and muted pastels.
  • greenery – while I don’t have much of a green thumb, I added some cute succulents to break up the rows of paperbacks surrounding them. In their tiny white pots, they match the overall feel but add a bit of life and are easy to care for.
  • personal touches – I have added pictures of my family and little trinkets throughout to add a bit of personality and love to the wall. It not only helps to make the wall look more varied and airy but also reminds me of beautiful memories and the lovely people in my life.

So, all in all, this is far from rocket science, but I especially love this little space in my new home. While it unfortunately had to become a bit of a catchall for various odds and ends, I love how this wall of shelves (which are the LACK variety from Ikea btw) has become a focal point and an expression of personality in my small and cozy home.

MAC Eyeshadow Collection

When I started really getting into make-up about ten years ago, MAC was the be all and end all of high end cosmetics. Being hyped up beyond belief, I of course invested what little pocket money I had into insane amounts of their products.

I soon filled up a whole palette of their single eyeshadows, which is impressive, especially for someone who rarely wears a lot of eyeshadow, if any.

So, after the hype has died down, what’s left? I still have a good amount of eyeshadows from MAC, but I have gotten rid of most of the more outrageous colors and have stuck to a more neutral palette recently.

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In my once-full 15-pan palette, there are the three colors that I use the least, Ricepaper, a yellow toned satin highlighting shade, Samoa Silk, a matte peach, and Paradisco, a coral orange.

Then of course, there’s the bronze-lover’s dream, the Her Cocoa quad from the ‘RiRi loves MAC’ collection, which houses for beautiful shades from creamy peach to bronzy brown.

The quad on the bottom left is probably my most used as it contains my all-time favorite, All that Glitters, and Espresso, a shade that I use almost everyday for my brows. Then there’s two limited edition shades, Carbonized, a blackened brown, and Style Snob, a bright taupe.

Finally, on the bottom right, there’s Club, a gorgeous duochrome shifting from teal-blue to brown, Antiqued, a darkened copper, a very battered looking Bronze and the quintessential MAC shade, Satin Taupe.

It’s pretty much a MAC best of, but I really do love the colors I have decided to keep.

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Serum

With my beloved Hydraluron nearing its final squeeze, it was time for me to look for something new to fill the serum slot in my skincare routine. Being a bonafide fan of french pharmacy products, I turned towards Caudalie to fill my need and purchased their lovely Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum.

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The name itself would have been enough to sway me, promising to aide with hydration issues and giving life back to my perpetually lackluster skin. Adding to that, I had read and seen more than a handful of rave reviews for this product, so when I went into the pharmacy to pick up some supplemental supplies, it really was a no-brainer when I spotted this on the shelf.

So, is it really as good as everyone says? In short, yes.

It is a beautiful, lightweight serum that leaves the skin feeling quenched and plumped without a trace of grease. It is a pleasure to put on even in the summer heat as it is very thin in texture and almost weightless on the skin. And after a few uses, it has visibly helped with textural issues stemming from dehydration such as fine lines on my forehead and flaky skin around my chin and nose. The scent, too, is gorgeous. Clean and somewhat floral, it is present but only lightly so, leaving me feeling fresh instead of nauseous.

To drive the point of this rave home, I have already thought about repurchasing and stocking up on this beautiful serum even though I am only a good couple weeks into using it. But what can I say, when it’s right, it’s right.

Summer Beauty Wishlist 2016

My beauty related wishlist this season is a seriously mixed bag, ranging from skin to haircare to fragrance and colour cosmetics.

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First on my list is the Alterna Caviar Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist. With one of the longest names in the business, this is in a similar vein as my beloved Oribe Maximista, promising volume and hold for my limp locks. As I am steadily tearing through my second bottle of the Oribe, I am looking to shake it up a little bit and see how the Alterna spray performs.

Skincare wise, I am looking to replace the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask with a new pick to see if anything lives up to it. The Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask not only looks gorgeous but has an amazing ingredients list that let’s me hope for even brighter, clearer skin.

As I am getting more and more into spray toners, the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist has been calling my name. With hyaluronic acid as one of its main ingredients, this might just provide the extra boost of moisture and hydration that I am looking for in my already moisture-heavy skincare routine.

For colour, Urban Decay have made a huge splash with their release of 100 new lipstick shades (to be fair, there are a good few repromotes in there, but still…) and the colour Back Talk has been catching my eye especially. A pretty pinky mauve, this could make for a perfect everyday lip color. It has been sold out most places recently, but I am keeping my eyes peeled for this one.

And finally, I have been busy deepening my love for Byredo fragrances and have fallen in love with Mojave Ghost. Fresh and clean but with a twist, this could easily fit into my roster of everyday scents.

L’Oréal Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo

Since washing my hair is one of the most tedious chores ever, I rely heavily on dry shampoo to keep my hair looking nice throughout the week.

I tried a lot of different dry shampoos and I have found that I usually prefer the sprinkle types over the spray kind – with one exception. The L’Oréal Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo has worked wonders on my fine, limp hair recently.

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It injects a fair amount of volume into my roots, but most of all, it works amazingly well at soaking up residual oil on my scalp and making my hair actually look almost freshly washed. I think it might be the clay that makes it so effective, but whatever it is, it does its job.

The gripe I have with most spray dry shampoos is the smell. I loved the Aussie version but hated the scent, same with most Batiste dry shampoos. But this one just smells like shampoo, fresh and unobstrusive, just like clean hair. So if you have similar issues, make sure to give this one a go.

PS: Confusingly enough, the L’Oréal lines are named differently throughout the world. As you can see, this line is called Elvital here in mainland Europe, whereas in most English speaking countries, it seems to go by Elvive. Luckily, the range is pretty discernible by its lovely mint green packaging, so be sure to look out for that if you’re not sure about the name.

 

Brand Focus: Avène

I always think a good way to approach skincare is ‘when in doubt, go the French pharmacy route’. There are so many products from French pharmacy brands that have become skincare staples for a good reason. Just think about Bioderma introducing micellar waters to the masses or the hype that surrounded the Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

One of the quintessential pharmaceutical brands is Avène. Branded around their thermal water, Avène is (or should be) the first port of call for anyone with sensitive or sore skin. They do ranges for about everything from very dry to very acneic skin, so I know I can always come back to them if need be.

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I have talked about their body care before, specifically their products geared towards Keratosis Pilaris. After having tried prescription lotions for my extremely dry, bumpy skin, I still stand by Avène being the most effective product I have used for my KP thus far.

Skincare wise, their thermal water is a firm classic and something that can’t be beat on a super hot summer day. While it might seem decadent to douse your face with bottled spring water in the heat, I have found that the Avène thermal water actually makes for an amazing, glow-inducing setting spray that is perfect for finishing a full face of make-up and giving back a bit of life while reducing the appearance of cakey powder.

The other products I love the most are from their Hydrance range. I have tried both the rich and light (or légère) versions of the moisturizers and have enjoyed every last drop from each tube. While I tend to go for the richer cream in fall and winter, I like to use the lighter version during the hotter months of the year. Regardless, both provide and intense amount of hydration without feeling greasy, sticky, or heavy and their are totally fuss-free. Plus, they come in an SPF-version as well, so if you do not like to use two separate products for moisture and sun protection, these creams are perfect.

All in all, I think Avène remains to be one of the French household brands in skincare and they totally deserve it. They might not provide the most high-tech products on the market, but when your skin is feeling rough, Avène is exactly what you should be reaching for.