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!

Allergens, Milk Duds and a Trip to France

HEE HEE, HAW HAW.

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The three aforementioned items could not be more dissimilar. But in my little world, they are inextricably linked. I could have also added Recent Exercise as another topic item, but 4 things seemed a bit much, no?

Let’s start with the state of my allergies! A topic I’m sure so many of you are absolutely thrilled to hear about. WELL. Every summer I die of allergies, which y’all have been privy to on more than one occasion (like here & here). Since Spring has Sprung like 89123 days early this year, I decided to book an allergy appt straight away!

I was poked (hee hee) 40 times with various extracts from trees, weeds, insects, you name it – and had OFF THE CHARTS allergic results to…drumroll please….

GRASS. I am allergic to grass. The doc told that it’s basically the most common thing to be allergic to. Which makes me so disappointed in myself. I was hoping it would be something really unique and specific, like Russian Thistle! But no, it’s just grass – and it’s EVERYWHERE. I am on a BRAND new medication called Grastek to treat my severe allergy, so holla at me if you share the same distaste for Grass!

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And then there are Milk Duds. I could eat Milk Duds all day, everyday. After years of dormancy on the candy shelf, they have quickly become a favorite, winning out over popular favorites including (but never limited to) Junior Mints, Jujyfruits and Snowcaps. I realize that the combination of sugary chocolate and caramel are likely wreaking havoc on my pearly-whites, but thankfully I have been limiting myself. I also find them completely irresistible when frozen! Who am I?? Elsa?!

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And lastly…FRANCE. In less than 2 weeks I will traveling to Chamonix, France with none other than Bryan-Arthur.

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I do not know if France is ready for another dose of my high-school French (of which I am way too confident in) and demands for ice in my soda. We shall see. One thing is sure, I will buying Bioderma for the masses and possibly a couple liters of Caudalie Beauty Elixir if the budget allows. I hear it just flows from rivers there!

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And then there’s the delicate matter of skiing. Which thanks to Bryan’s encouragement and a few positively WONDERFUL ski days, I am completely ready for! A couple of meltdowns are likely, but so it the possibility of fondue and wine…and LOTS OF IT.

I wish I could become the photographer I know I’ll never be, and capture our trip to perfection. But you guys know what you’re in for. Expect my usual slightly blurry, dancing-in-the-hotel-with-wine-in-my-hand repertoire, mmm-kay. Anything else just wouldn’t be me ;).

Adieu beautés!

Whistler 2015

But first, let’s take a mome to address the fact that I have been skiing five times this year. FIVE. I’m pretty sure that’s worthy of the Guiness Book.

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Anyways, if you can get over the fact that I am basically Lindsay Vonn then let’s move on. We had a wonderful long weekend in Whistler a few weeks ago and it is high time I write about it.

We went with our pals the Lipes (see Melissa’s post on the trip here) and it could not have been more fun. Well, maybe if you added in a couple a’ sassy gays and five rounds of tequila, but STILL. I love these three humans and the fact that we hadn’t hung in nearly 7 months made this reunion that much better.

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This time around, we rented a two bedroom/two bathroom  condo in Whistler Village with our own hot tub! Since we had a kidlet, this set-up was absolutely perfect and the hot tub was much-appreciated after a long day on the slopes.

After the Lipes’ arrival the first night, we were all hungry so we did what any Canadian would do – we went out and ordered POUTINE. French fries + cheese curds + gravy.

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M’s voraciousness perfectly captured all of our feelings on the dish:

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The next day, Kyle and Bryan hit the mountain early while Melissa, M and I scampered around Whistler Village. Watching this little girl grow up has been such a joy and her almost 3-year-old repartree is just too much. Example:

Me: “What do you think about skiing, M?”

M:”I CAN DOOOO IT!!!”

We mozied slowly toward the base of the mountain, pausing to gather tiny globs of snow, inspect snowboards and skis and pet doggies. We had lunch together and the combination of the sun, 2 pitchers of beer and burgers made for a wonderful afternoon.

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That night, we went to a brew pub for dinner where Bryan’s artistic skills were tested at the demand of M’s requests for Anna and Elsa from Frozen. I have to say I was impressed at Bryan’s representation of the braids! Such a talent.

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The next day was Bry and I’s ski day. We waited in line at the base of the gondola for about 30 minutes (ugh!) and the start of the morning included my usual problems and subsequent complaints. Boots too tight, boots to loose, my heel moving too much, my toes being numb – you get it. We had luncheon at the “fancy” restaurant Christine’s where we shared a salad and a burger on a pretzel bun. Two glasses of wine later and I was ready for a couple more runs.

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We called it quits around 4 pm and immediately headed back to the condo for a hot-tub party.

The next day we said our goodbyes and while Bryan checked out I popped into the drugstore to obviously check out the cosmetics. As I was browsing, I was elated to see ONE solo bottle of BIODERMA on the shelves. I gasped and probably scared the people next to me. I paid $22 for this size and of course promptly went outside to take selfies with it. Hahahaaaa I’m so weird.

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the eyebrows are soo bad

 

Then we made the 7 hour drive back to Portland. Per usual, Bryan drove home and I watched Netflix (a new show called The Fall! SO GOOD). These weekends in Whistler are NEVER long enough – maybe next year we’ll do week!

OH, CANADA.

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