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A Very Baby Weekend

I keep tryin’ to think of a funny opener, but all I can do RN is hum Destiny’s Child.

Can you keep up? BABY BOY, make me lose my breath!

Sorry.

Last weekend, my sister Meg and mother Nan came to visit me. Megan is about 23 weeks preg and it was HIGH-TIME she make the trip to Portland to look for baby items in a tax-free environment.

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They arrived Friday night and after my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw little Meg’s little belly, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and have 2 LARGE glasses of vino and 3/4 of a box of Milk Duds. A grilled cheese may have made it in there too, it’s all a blur when I’m around these two.

The next day we woke up and hit NW 23rd because it’s cute and fun. We stopped immediately at Bagel Works where I ordered a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. It was definitely sub-par and not a place I would frequent. Give me a chewy, dense bagel or give me death.

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We shopped around the area and I struck up a wonderful conversation at Blush Beauty Bar with a fellow customer who didn’t think she could pull off a bronzed eyeshadow. She had olive skin and gorgeous flicked liner and I was like, “GIRL LISTEN”. The ladies who worked there were kinda laughing but letsbereal, they probs hated me.

Then another gal couldn’t find a Nars lipstick in the shade Kelly, which is OBVIOUSLY from the Audacious line. When the salesperson didn’t know anything about it, I happily interjected and was all, “Excuse me? Yes, that shade is from the Audacious line, which is AMAAAZING and you should definitely get it.”

Sister Natalie, they should call me. Patron Saint of meekups.

Anyways, we got gas and I ran in for a fountain soda because it’s tradish.

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Then we went to Washington Square and I wore my Tory Burch flats which was a terrible decision. We found some adorable baby clothes for Lil’ Toby Johnson (as we are referring to him) and I was able to sneak away at H&M and procure a tiny quilted sweatshirt with the words “Hello Little One” embroidered in.

Megan also found an amazing diaper bag at Nordstrom and I kindof want it for a normal purse. Is that weird?

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I also coveted the following shoes:

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We tried to go to the Glutton Cheesecake Factory for lunch but it was packed to the brim with hungry, sad-looking mall-goers who were willing to wait the hour + for a sh*tty piece of thawed-out Cheesecake.

Being the smart ladies we are, decided to succumb to Chipotle. For obvious reasons. Chips.

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After that we stopped at the Brideport shopping area where I very nearly purchased this perfume at Anthropologie for $55 because it smells like a fairy princess.

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That night, the Nan and my sis crashed early because one is old and one is pregnant. I met some co-workers for karaoke and performed not one but TWO songs. One of them may or may not have been from Frozen…

The next day we got up and decided to go to Nordstrom Rack. I found a few random Alex and Ani bracelets and Nan ended up buying me one. What a gal!

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Kinda cool and art-deco-ish?

I always get sad after anyone in my family leaves so Sunday night was spent in the bath, Stanley Hudson style.

All in all, a wonderful, baby-tastic weekend.

“Things” I Love

What up tootsie pops!?

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Allow me to point out that I have no mascara on (read: hairless cat) my hair could NOT have been worse. AND homegirl in the background is shooting me just absolute daggers.

Y’all know I can rattle off the makeup/beauty/haircare favorites with the rest of ’em, but what I often fail to mention are the other things I love. And with summer peaking it’s head around the corner, being all “What’s up Nat?!!” I can’t help but just burst out with love for everything. The sky. The trees. The Portlandian riding her bike in suffocatingly tight bell bottoms with a raccoon helmet. I just love it. ALL. So here it goes.

Slushy margaritas

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When was the last time you partook in a SLUSHY marg? Sure, I’ve downed my fair share of the classic on-the-rocks version, but can I get an amen for the icy texture of a good ol’ blended one? PREACH.

No Makeup Days

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Contrary to what people might think, I actually don’t mind how I look without (as my Dad so lovingly refers to it) “warpaint”. And why is everyone suddenly making a big deal out of the power of “no-makeup” days? Why are we all overthinking this?! Just wear makeup when you want, or don’t. Sheesh!

I do however, make a big deal outta people who bite directly into a string cheese. Because that is just weird.

Chips from Chipotle

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They’re heavily salted, limed and dispensed from a bag just for me. Sidenote: I love thefatjewish on IG. #dadbod

 Relaxi Taxis Outside on our Dirty Balcony

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And yes, I am wearing cut-offs. DUH. I looove when it is so stinking nice outside that you can’t NOT do this. The balcony is def not ready for summer, but I LITerally give zero f*#%s.

Quotes that are True

The amount of those quote home decor signs at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Target is overwhelming. “Always Kiss Me Goodnight”. “Life is better at the Beach”. And my personal favorite, “Sexy Women Have Messy Kitchens”.

To these I say: “Don’t always kiss me goodnight. I don’t feel good”. “Life may be better at the beach, but it also may be better at Chili’s”. And lastly, “Ugly women also have messy kitchens”.

HOWEVER. All that being said, I did find this quote (on a random notebook) to be quite true.

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Go Mare

When I Absolutely KILL IT at Dinner

This doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it is worth being blogged about. Gotta love Ina for providing me with the world’s yummiest panzanella recipe.

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And later that day…

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Whatevs. Booty is organic.

What do YOU love?

My Thoughts on Jamberry

Hello my little toast points!

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Me rn

I was introduced to Jamberry a couple of weeks ago. Of course I had heard the name before, but I never really paid any attention to it. I knew they were nail stickers that supposedly lasted much longer than nail polish. Yada yada yada.

You see, I luurve painting my nails but for whatever reason most polishes chip within ONE GD day on me. So when a couple’a gals from my work told me they were placing an order for these little pups, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I selected the following pattern, appropriately named “Memory Lane” (they look like a grandma’s couch, afterall) and I absolutely love the floral design.

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It took me a solid two weeks to muster up the strength to actually commit the two hours I knew it would take to figure these out. But I did. And after a few YouTube videos, hooking up my hair dryer and maaaybe a couple of curse words, they’re on.

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The process – I watched the official Jamberry application vid and was got the basic jest. Btw, totally NOT FAIR that these rando women are probs like rolling in the dough from making nail stickers. Makes me want to invent sh*t, HARD.

So. You peel em off, heat em up, stick em on. I happened upon a couple Jamberry superfan-produced vids and learned a couple insider tips and tricks. One lady instructed you to wrap your nail in a plastic baggie immediately after application and hold it in front of the blow dryer for a few seconds. Okee.

What I found to be the most challenging part of these little suckers is the placement and the edging. To be fair, I did NOT do this super meticulously and easily could have spent another hour being super precise, but that just aint me. Once they were on, I trimmed the top and then filed it down to end perfectly aligned with my natural nail. I found this to be difficult and very time consuming.

Other than that, there really isn’t much to it.

The result – They look pretty dec. However, the tops are not completely perfect and I have little flaps (haha) on a few of my nails. So. We will see how long these last. For a first-timer, I am not expecting to get the full 3-week wear out of ’em but hopefully I can last a week?

My opinion – these are fun to do every once in a while OR if you want a fun accent (or party nail, as I call it). I think it would ROCK on my ring fingers. It is pretty time consuming but perhaps I will get faster the more I do it. I still like painting my nails for therapeutic reasons, but I think these Jamberry nails are also kinda fun.

Have YOU tried Jamberry?

Spring Weekends

Hey baes.

I thought a weekend post was long overdue as lately the ends to my week have been moderately noteworthy. moderately.

First and foremost, you may remember that Sister Meg is having a baby and recently we found out (as I so maturely put it) “if it had a hoo-haw or a ding-a-ling”. Welp. It’s a ding-a-ling and he will be my little gentleman! I plan to teach him everything a guy should know, including but not limited to:

  • The right kinds of compliments to give (tall) girls, I.E “you look so cute and tiny!”, “you are svelte”, etc.
  • NEVER wear overalls, bulky turtleneck sweaters, or Timberland boots (unless you’re a construction worker)
  • Always smell good, but not too good. Half a spray of YSL L’Homme’ll do ya.

She already purchased the first official outfit and I gotta say, the girl has taste:

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Second, Bry and I barbequed. In 80-degree sunshine. In shorts and tanks. The giddiness was real and so of course I wore my signature trashy tank.

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nm my scraggly, ragamuffin hair

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KC, Bryan’s older bro came to visit for a quick ski trip up (and down) Mt. Hood. They did great and came home ready for some dinner. I decided to do “Coachella eyes” that night, which basically consists of slapping 50 different bronzey eyeshadows on and smoking them out HARD. You like??

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We went to Serratto and ordered a trough of food and promptly inhaled all of it. This s’mores dessert concoction was to-die. I MEAN. Just take a gander at that torched marshmallow!

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The next day we had an amazing breakie and the men went climbing at Planet Granite which means that KC now is involved in 24,232 different EXTREME sports.

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I went on a pathetic excuse for a run and I am happy to report I lived. It was touch and go there for a second though.

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We then ventured over to NW 23rd and had a brunch consisting solely of burgers. And wine. And beer. Glorious beer. KC needs to come every weekend :).

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I then somehow wandered into Mac and tried on hot coral lipstick because, really – why wouldn’t I? I didn’t get it but the gals at Blush Beauty Bar told me they loved it. I did however buy 2 little bath things from Lush!

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That same weekend, my little sister Amy and her beautiful fiance Shannon came to visit with Shannon’s Maid of Honor, Christina in tow. We met for dinner on Thursday night and then Friday night it was ON. I felt so cool you guys. Just normal 31-year-old me, OUT ON THE TOWN. I fully gussied m’self and went over to their hotel to help with Amy’s makeup application and a little pre-funking. We went to a couple of gay bars around Portland and I danced in the middle of the dance floor alone #whatdidyouexpect.

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No, i am not grabbing her boob.

 

Then, a handsome young gay with AMAZING eyebrows came up next to me:

Me: “You’re eyebrows are on fleeek my man!”

Him: “I’m buyin’ you a drink!”

Instant BFFs.

Lastly, I have been in dress/skirt mode and also a floral/peach mode.

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Plz ignore the hot pink sports bra

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Full post on the Jamberries coming soon!

 

My People

G’Day Gents.

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Last weekend I drove to Seattle to see my homegirls.  We try to organize this event yearly, but it is painstakingly clear each time we rendezvous that more meetups are desired. Nay, necessary.

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These girls are a part of me. They listen and nod their heads as I talk incessantly about Dubsmashing Frozen like ‘err day. They try to get me to ingest organic vegetables. They reassure me that my snaggletooth and man shoulders are cute. They just get me. And I am so grateful for them.

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We never get anything accomplished during these weekends. In fact, we’re lucky if everyone’s dressed by 4 pm. Dry shampoo is optional.  This time around, we submitted to small 20-minute walks around the neighborhood, wine, cheese and OBVS a hair session instigated by yours truly.

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We had a delicious meal at Local 360 (cheesy grits) and later somehow fit all four of our bodies into one bed for a chat. Come Sunday I was not ready to leave and our traditional four-way hug couldn’t last long enough.

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To Carey and Holly and Bek. I love you guys.

Rodan + Fields Skincare/Self-Tanner Follow Up!

I’d like to give a warm shout-out to Kelly for sending me a few of my FAVE product samples from Rodan + Fields!

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With Bryan and his brother out skiing Mt. Baker last weekend, I was left with a whole lotta time on my hands to really get m’pamps on. And I did it up BIG. Freshly washed sheets. Netflix, wine and OF COURSE Milk Duds because who do you take me for? I knew an at-home facial and sunless tanning sesh was also looong overdue and I was SO pumped to use these products again!

Enter: The Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion, Night Renewing Serum and Lip Renewing Serum

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I have said it before and I will say it again. These products are AMAZING and they work. Rodan and Fields are two smart gals because everyone knows how well Proactiv works, but not everyone needs acne products. Some of us want to look like we are 22 (I already feel it) and need an anti-ageing regiment sent from the Gods. Welp. This is it.

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Pre-wash face!

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Applying the microdermabrasion

Never before have I actually looked forward to using a microdermabrasion until I found this stuff. I love using it and feeling the dead skin, grime and build-up from the week melt away beneath tiny grains of this gloriousness. My skin is left feeling softer and more like a baby’s butt than ever before.

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Then I applied the serum. Oh, the serum. Somebody once told me that a moisturizer is like brushing your teeth but a serum is like the floss. It really gets in there, it fine tunes and delivers the powerful effects we all want. What is better than knowing your face is fully exfoliated and thirsty for replenishment, and then feeding it a luxurious and nutrient-rich product? NOTHING.

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Feels SO soft!

The lip treatment is also a great one. I would recommend starting with the microdermabrasion and the face serum if I had to pick my faves, but if you have super dry, chapped lips this would be an amazing option for you. I also applied the lip shield, which is ultra nourishing and hydrating. It would be perfect for the beach bag.

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After my face was all scrubbed and clean and cherubic, I applied the Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan.

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For me, the Rodan & Fields Sunless Tanner is like a good friend. Someone I can rely on when I’m feeling crappy, sure to brighten my day with a pleasant smell, easy application (no mitt required!) and great results. Because come on, all great friends have to smell pleasant. This one in particular is nice for the gal who just wants a “touch of sun”, who wants to be all, “oh, me? I was just out on my yacht all weekend.” If a super orangey fake tan is a double D, this humble self tanner is like a full B-cup.

I love how quick the process goes:

Step One: Exfoliate in the shower

Step Two: Dry off thoroughly and apply self tanning foam to body, working in sections.

Step Three: Wait for tanner to dry (or if you’re me, walk around your bedroom naked rapping Gangster’s Paradise).

Freshly applied

Freshly applied

Here is a pic of the color, from 2 days later using only one coat!

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Yes I was on the bus. I’m just SO urban.

And that’s it! Have YOU tried Rodan + Fields??

Nordstrom Makeup Haul

Hieeeee!

Hat tip to m’pal Dann for sending me emails with this nauseatingly wonderful subject line.

Today I bring you a haul more exciting than the season finale of Rupaul’s Drag Race which y’all really must watch. My inner drag queen (who goes by Summer Clearance, btw) gets pretty jealous of those broads.

I was at the Washington Square Nordstrom the other day, otherwise known as the cool place to push around $1,500 strollers in Tory Burch flats…and I picked up a few bits and pieces which I am just tickled over.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

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FINALLY right!? This is liquid gorgeousness. It is the essence of all things majesty and splendorous, bottled up and sold to unicorns like me and you. I went with Light 5 – in Fiji and I’m honestly a bit iffy on the shade. I might be going back for Medium 1 in Punjab because this girl is planning on gettin’ her tan on!! However, do not be fooled. My winter shade in this foundation would definitely be the lightest.

Anastasia Brow Whiz in Soft Brown

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Don’t be jealous of m’sexy jammies ok?

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FINALLY AGAIN!! I have wanted Brow Whiz ever since it came out like 74 years ago. I have had the good ol’ original pencil in ash blonde from Anastasia for srsly like 22 years and I fiiiiinalllly ran out a couple weeks ago. And you guys, can I get some props for working through that entire godforsaken thing!? It was an accomplishment.

Mac Powder Blush in Melba

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This blush comes highly recommended by Jaclyn Hill, one of my fave YouTubers. It has zero sparkle but the color is simply gorgeous. I love wearing it with an absolute sh*tload of highlighter. You know.

And that’s all she wrote!

Current Favorites

Alright.

I’ve fallen SO far behind in monthly favorites. In fact, the word behind doesn’t really do justice of  how behind I am. I am like infinity behind (because we all know NOTHING tops infinity).

That being said, I feel like my favorites at the mome are a really awesome collection of solid products. The Principal’s List, if you will.

Meekup

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

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This concealer is separate post-worthy. I know I have sung the praises of many a concealer – but this one is truly the best I’ve found. While it does not have the crazy coverage of a Mac Pro Longwear or a Bye Bye Undereye, what it lacks in coverage it makes up for in ease of application, finish and length of wear. It truly is a radiant concealer, so I only use this under my eyes in the upside down triangle formation. The doe-foot applicator makes it SO much easier than the pump on the Mac concealer or a squeezy tube. All I do is paint it on, blend it out with my finger and set it with a little translucent powder and I am SET. All. Day.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

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I have talked this blush to smithereens but it’s really that good. Everytime I start using other things for a bit, I always come back to Luminoso. And with summer being just around the corner, I know I’ll use it even more. The color is a lovely peach with a subtle highlight (read: do not use if you don’t like a glowy cheek), it is pigmented, long-wearing and the best part: it’s $8.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

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Alright gals, who still needs to pony up and buy the $20 eyelash curler?! I used the Elf one for years and had resigned to the fact that my eyelashes just sucked. I finally threw it out in a rage after it devastatingly ripped 3-8 eyelashes out one morning. Then I started researching. I was going to order the Shu Uermura one but I didn’t want to wait so I went with the Sephora girl’s recommendation and bought this one. I’ve had it now about a month and I am now a changed woman. Spend money on eyelash curlers people!

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Pink Lady

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These lipsticks are so pigmented! This shade is gonna look brill with a tan. It’s bright and almost sickeningly peachy-pink. YESSS.

Chanel Camelia Highlighter

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I use this everyday and it is the most perfect highlight ever! The silver is deceiving because it doesn’t come off that way at all. It gives off a warm, pearly glow, kindof similar to the vanilla pigment from Mac.

Body

Lush Pearl Massage Bar

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NO. Bryan does NOT massage with with this so just move that thought right on outta yer head! I got this simply because I am OBSESSED with anything Rose Argan scented from Lush. Basically if I have time, I will rub this puppy all over m’bod after a shower and the smell just lingers and I just KNOW everyone is like “Omg Natalie smells sooo good today!”

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel

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So… this body wash is amazing. It smells sooooo good and really unique – I may be getting the Soap & Glory perfume because I love it so much. It is also super moisturizing and lathers up really nicely which means all you need is a tiny bit.

Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Body Scrub

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I really like a nice, gritty scrub before a self tan and this stuff does not disappoint! I like those softer, sugar scrubs from time to time but there’s nothing like a firm scrub to really get all of the dead skin off.

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

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Again, I have talked this to death. But I figured I should include it because it is and forever will be a favorite.

Skincare

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream

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I picked this up recently as well and have been really enjoying using it before bed. I really should write an update nighttime routine because ALOT has changed but basically, this stuff plays an integral role. It is thick, non-scented and VERY hydrating. Can’t speak to the firming properties, but it feels great!

Rapid Lash

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A full post may also be required for a full-on review on this stuff. I started using it about a month ago and I can confirm that yes, it does make a difference. My lashes are definitely longer (not sure about fuller) and I just really like them. I would like to review a couple more of these types of products (except Latisse) and report back. I have also been putting organic Castor oil on my lashes lately…so there’s that as well.

Bioderma Micellar Cleansing Water

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SUCH a beauty blogger right now you guys! Yes, I have Bioderma and yes, I like it. It is by NO means a holy grail product and I hear that Simple came out with a micellar water that is basically a dupe for Bioderma, costs $7 AND is available everywhere. So who knows, maybe I’ll make the switch but for now, I love Bioderma for removing every last stitch of makeup!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

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THE BEST makeup setting spray I have used. Granted, I do not like a matte (or anywhere near it) finish but it really keeps my face lookin’ pretty great all day. It is a little spendy so I suggest you plan a trip to France and hoard 19 bottles. Also, the smell is a bit weird for some people but just say to yourself “spa” and you’ll fall in love.

Hair

Lush’s Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar

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This shampoo bar was recently added to the collection at Lush and I got it the DAY it came out. I bought it because, you guessed it – it smells like Rose Argan. Contrary to what I thought would happen, this baby lathers up like a dream! I still have to use the tea tree on my annoying itchy scalp but when I don’t do that, I am using this. End of story.

What have YOU been loving lately??

 

French Pharmacy Haul

Bonjour my little bon-bons!

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I know y’all are just pining to see the French Pharmacy Finds I recently procured whilst traveling in Chamonix, France. Read about the whole trip here!

I did an astounding amount of reaching in preparation for the French pharmacy not only to discover what those sprightly french gals are usin’, but also to enjoin myself from buying a bunch of crap that is cheaper in the U.S

My research indicated there were in fact a few brands that are produced in France and therefore, a better deal over there. Such brands include Bioderma, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Klorane and Caudalie. A fact I discerned to be true was that cosmetic brands that seem French, like Dior, Chanel and Clinique are actually MORE expensive to buy over there.

Furthermore, did y’all know that all cosmetic brands are usually owned by larger companies? For example L’Oreal owns YSL, Georgio Armani, Lancome, Kiehls, Urban Decay, Essie and The Body Shop. Shocking, I know.

Anywee, here is what I picked up at the Pharmacies in Chamonix:

1. Klorane Dry Shampoo

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Hat tip to my pal Nicole for this recommendation! This dry shampoo cost about €10 and is formulated with Oat Milk. I got the version for all hair types because the other option was for dark hair only. Interesting they don’t make a blonde option…#hairscrimination.

2. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution

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If you read my recent post about our trip to Whistler, you’ll know I finally found Bioderma! I paid $20 for the bottle and have been using it non-stop. To be honest, there is nothing totally spectacular about this stuff. What I appreciate about it is the simplicity. It has no smell, is great for sensitive skin and removes makeup nicely.

I picked up the giant 500 ml bottle of this in France because it was only €14!

3. NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

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This product is on EVERY french person’s pharmacy favorite list. The brand actually had a few things I considered buying, like the body oil. I decided not to get that because I’m not really that big on body oils and honestly, our suitcase had like 1 millimeter of space left.

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir

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I have wanted to get this from Sephora sooo many times but it’s $50. It smells like a spa and is very luxurious. I have used this a few times since we’ve been home and I can confirm: it is HEAVEN. It works amazing as a makeup setting spray and I just loooove it after I wash my face and before serum and moisturizer. I paid €29 for the big bottle!

5. Fletagex

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This product used to be known as Avibon and Gwyneth regarded it as a miracle product for keeping wrinkles at bay. When I inquired about Avibon, the gal at the pharmacy went into the back and produced this stuff, saying “It eez the same.” DONE. The packaging reminds me of hemerroid cream but whatevs if it works. Also, it was €7 so the price was right too!

And that’s all I bought! I KNOW you guys. I could have filled a suitcase but given the fact that we packed our own skis and ski boots, there was srsly no room in our luggage for 44 ounce jars of face cream.

*Side note about clothes shopping in France:

All the clothing shops in Cham were filled with mountain stuff. Alot of Burton, North Face and ski stuff I don’t care about. The few non-outdoor apparel stores I went in were fascinating for one reason…the men’s section was in the front of the store.

In the US, most clothing stores that carry both mens and womens apparel smartly put the women’s section front and center. We spend the money. We like our stuff right up front. In most places, I find that the men’s section is either off to the side, in the back or just really tiny. Well NOT IN FRANCE. In most stores, like Superdry and Quicksilver the women’s sections were not only in the back but UPSTAIRS. I pointed this out to Bryan (who is the LAST person on earth who would notice a clothing store’s layout) and he was all, “that’s awesome!”. Ew.

My opinion? GO AMERICA!

Chamonix

And before you go mis-pronoucin’, it’s CHAMONIX – as in shaw-mah-nee. Ever heard of it? It’s in France.

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OH how I miss the Nard Dog…

Anyways, back to the vacay.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I married a mountain-man. A crazy, oxygen-filled, iron-lunged, skiing, ice-climbing, beer-drinking sonofagun. And ever since this Heeman was a wee-man (baahaa) he has wanted to ski in Chamonix. And being the kind of gal who will NEVER turn down a trip to France ever, I obliged and went along.

Our flight over could not have been more perfect, save for flying first-class international in one of those mini-suites where they do everything except birth you a child. We left around 2 pm out of the ol’PDX, carpet and all, and 1o hours later arrived in Amsterdam. We jumped on another hour-ish flight to Geneva and were picking up our rental car in no time!

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The Renault was a nice lil ride and the drive to our hotel in Vallorcine (about 20 miles outside of Chamonix) was wonderful, until we realized we had missed our exit…

Many of the roads in France are on tolls which is FINE when you have a credit card that works or euro. We had neither. And after we flipped a B to head back to where we had missed the turn, we immediately hit a toll booth. Assured by the rental car company that our Visa would be fine, we were very surprised to learn that we had no viable currency to pay with. Yippeee!

“Autre card!!?” (Other card!?) yelled the middle-aged French women through the crackly speaker.

“No autre card!!” we retorted (for the 10th time I might add).

After 10 minutes of explaining we DID NOT have euro OR another card, she had us hold up our Passports to the closed-circuit cameras so she could write down our home address and bill us. Whatevs, madame.

After spouting off over 20 cuss words we were on our way and headed in the right direction!

Upon arriving in Chamonix we immediately found a petit cafe (get used to me using French where I can here, folks) and ordered a cheesy, delicious hot sandwich with pomme frites!

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We pinched our little selves and just couldn’t believe we were there. Colossal mountains just spewed out of the ground, and felt like they were just feet away. Somber French couples, sporting his and her messy buns, being chic and chain-smoking while probs laughing at my clothes from the Gap.

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We stayed at the Residence and Spa Vallorcine, which was quaint and perfect. Our room was a decent size, with a little sitting area, dining table and kitchenette. The bedroom was small and the bed was even smaller. I kindof felt like Shaq sleeping in that tiny European bed.

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The only thing that would have made the room perfect would have been carpet. You guys KNOW I love me some carpet, especially in cold environments such as Chamonix. The cold tile flooring did not help the fact that the heaters in France are just NOT up to snuff. I need that central heat, yo.

The first night we threw on our ski sweaters and I debated making Bryan call me Bunny (or Muffy) all night. I would call him Carl…as in,”Oh Carl, we just have to order the brie!”

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We went to the cutest little restaurant in Vallorcine (one of like, three restaurants) and ordered fondue, a goat cheese salad and wine, obvi.

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 The next few days went something like this:

Wake up around 7, consume croissants and/or pain du chocolate.

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Gear up

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Go skiing

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Ski more

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Annnndd ski some more

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Stop for café au lait

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Make some videos

Have lunch

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A bit more skiing

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Apres

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Our late afternoons and evenings were spent in a variety of ways. A couple of days, it was shopping around Chamonix, buying macarons and stopping for wine and crepes.

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If you can believe it, my favorite crepe turned out to be plain ol’ sugar. Something about the crunch I think. Another funny thing that happened in Cham, was that I got a bit of altitude sickness. Nothing crazy – just a bit of dizziness paired with a loss of appetite. You can imagine how great is was to lose my appetite while in FRANCE! No – actually it sucked. And when it finally came back I was hungry AF.

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One day, we took the tram up to the Aguille du Midi which takes you to about 13,000 feet, which makes it the highest cable car in Europe. It is interesting how I never learn my lesson, agreeing to do these things. The St.Louis arch = meltdown. Top of the Space Needle = no thanks. Yet somehow I let Bryan whisk me up in a shaky tram and walk along a staircase clinging to the side of a precipitous cliff. Oh, and did I mention the steel staircase was see-through? I would have snapped a pic had it not been for the mounting terror surging through my body.

Dinners out occurred daily and the fare ranged from elegant French cuisine to the nachos I ordered on our last night, made with DORITOS. God bless those clever little Frenchies.

I was left on my own a few times and Of COURSE y’all know I frequented the French Pharmacies I was so excited about. I spent a good hour in one, picking up product after product and trying unsuccessfully to read ingredient lists. I did ended up with a few GEMS so stay tuned for a WHOLE post on that, mon cheres!

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I also did a fair amount of pretending to be a cool photographer, taking pics that were all arty and deep. Really, my point-and-shoot and I just kinda mozied around, taking sub-par pics.

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It’s meeeeeeeee

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So there you have it, our super -relaxing ski vacay in the French Alps…I think it’s time to go back to Hawaii :).

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