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a bold claim, i know, but stay with me here. for as long as i have had issues with acne, i have used the cetaphil tub moisturizer on my face – at least in the winter. and come summer, i would switch to just an oil or something lighter, and my skin would clear up, which i assumed was because of the sun or saltwater or just relaxation that came with the summer months. and then, a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the one constant in my skincare routine has been the cetaphil tub.
i am so lucky to be able to regularly see a dermatologist, but i always take her advice with a grain of salt. for example, the warning that all oils clog your skin. from my own thorough research, i know this is not true. but when she recommend the tub all those years ago, i took that piece of advice with dedication.
long story short, this thick cream, while great for the body, is pure shit for my face. it actually has an oil (take that, derm!) in it, as well as petrolatum and dimethicone. i can now see how not only was this product wreaking havoc on my face because of the ingredients and most likely the thickness, the oils i would layer on top during the winter probably aided in the clogging of my skin.
after this realization, i immediately ordered the avene skin recovery cream – a lightweight but moisturizing lotion that is ideal for overly sensitized skin and skin that is post procedure. because i use two acne topicals, one that is a retinal as well, my skin is definitely dry and definitely sensitive. the avene skin recovery cream, while i am going through a period of dryness because i no longer have that petrolatum in my routine, is moisturizing without being heavy. i am able to layer my beloved leo oil or indie lee squalane without any clogging (i don’t do this every night and day anymore to save my skin from too much excess).immediately following the end of the tub and the beginning of the avene i have noticed such a change in my skin, from reduced redness and clogging to all over evenness. i don’t know if i will stick with the avene forever – it’s very expensive for the small size you get and the ingredients are that “clean” – but for now it is my very special friend.last night i used the la roche posay cicalplast baume b5 for something a little heavier and different almost as a treatment, but i know as soon as a move away from such a dry climate a lighter lotion like the avene will be enough for me. the la roche posay is an excellent, very very gentle balm that i use on my eyelids and lips when they are dry and cracked (does that happen to anyone else’s lids?! UGH!). i also now see the importance in mixing up what i’m using, as in notthe same oil and lotion combo day and night, to make sure my skin doesn’t get too clogged from something extra heavy day in and day out. my baby wash cloths are still on hand for gentle exfoliation, as well as masks and other items. my main goal with my skin is to be extremely gentle but still performance-driven, but i really do have sensitive skin and need to treat it with care.. . .
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ok i know you’re rolling your eyes at the title of this post, but don’t leave me just yet! it’s such a cliche post these days, but it’s true – these are some of my absolute favorite products, and they happen to come from the “french pharmacy” as well. at the bottom of this post, peek some of my favorite posts and videos in the same vein as this one.embryolisse lait creme concentrate // i have had this moisturizer on hand for years. it’s a very simple but effective product and intensely hydrates the skin without being greasy or overly sticky. i usually use this in the morning for hydration and as a dewy primer before makeup, but i have used it as night in a pinch as well. this product doesn’t have the best ingredients and i hate that it contains mineral oil and fragrance, but i can’t deny the effectiveness.klorane dry shampoo // this is quite honestly the only dry shampoo i have ever tried. i’m not a big dry shampoo user, but it’s a product that i need to have on hand, just in case. this gives the hair not only a clean feeling but a bit of oomph and volume which i definitely need when i’m foregoing a wash. i will occasionally spray it on damp hair which gives the hair a nice amount of grit and volume, a trick i found thanks to this post on the file.avene eau thermale // i have mentioned this product a looot, so i won’t bore your ears/eyes, but it is now a staple for me that i don’t ever want to be without. i spray this after showering and washing my face to remove the minerals in my water that irritate my skin. it’s also excellent as a mid-day refresher and to take the powderiness away from your makeup. this is going to be aaamazing come summertime so i am going to purchase some of the travel size bottles to keep in my bags and car.bioderma sensibio h2o // another product that i mention quite frequently, but it’s just that good. it’s the perfect first step to a nighttime routine, especially if you don’t wear a ton of makeup. it’s just a staple and beautifully basic! i switched over to the garnier micellar water some months ago because it’s easier for me to find, but i did pick up another bottle of bioderma for when i finish the garnier. yes, they are pretty much the exact same product, but sometimes it’s nice to have something a little bit more fun and french, yeah?
bioderma sensibio mask // i have mentioned this mask before, but i originally bought it when i finished my second tub of the glossier moon mask. i was really just looking for something new to replace the glossier, and this turned out to be sooo much better! i feel like it hydrates my skin for days to come, versus the less permanent results of the glossier. extremely soothing, takes away redness, and gives my skin a lift. it’s also great as a hand mask! i have previously tried the light moisturizer in this line as well and can honestly say bioderma has some great basics.and, if you’re not bored yet, peek these french ladies:
jeanne damas // vogue interview
sabina socol // into the gloss interview
french travel essentials // into the gloss
french girl beauty // the file
alice moireau // the file interview
charlotte gainsbourg // the file interview
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good hair //
i feel like it is quite rare that i have some actual hair favorites! this topic and one of these products will be familiar to you if you read this post, but there are some different products too. if you didn’t read that post (which you should. now.), i am pretty lame with my hair and usually just wash with head&shoulders or something comparable, maybe put in some salt spray, and air dry. but this month i’ve been shaking it up.
step 1: brush. now i have never been a hairbrusher. i know that sounds absolutely crazy, but when i brush my hair it gets…big. but lately, i’ve taken to brushing my hair before the shower to get rid of that dreaded rats nest from scarves and coat collars with this brush that i got from urban ($6). i think it is definitely the combination of pre-shower brushing and this brush that have completely changed how i wash my hair. my hair feels thicker, stronger, and shinier, and i have much less fallout than i used to. for winter hair, i’d say those results are pretty amazing.
step 2: wash. r+co cactus shampoo ($24) has been a full on love this month and will be for a while. this is the product you will recognize from that previous post. i don’t use this every time i wash my hair because it is pretty pricey, but i wish i could. i’ve been popping a little bit of conditioner on the ends of my hair and then lathering up with the cactus, and the results are beachy, summery, untamed, and perfect.
step 3: hair oil. i have never ever used a hair oil. that being said, i had my worries about not using full conditioner with the cactus shampoo, so i figured i would pick one up and try it out. i grabbed the verb ghost oil ($14) the last time i was at sephora because it has great reviews online and is the cheapest they have (of course i didn’t need to get a hair product at sephora, but you know, product junkie). i was tempted to get the ouai hair oil but it’s a smaller bottle and double the price. anyways, this oil is beautiful. it is lightweight and not sticky at all, plus smells and feels amazing. i just put a little drop on my fingers and rub it together, then put the most on my ends and flip my hair over and finger comb with the excess. i don’t have a lot to base it on, but this oil is amazing!good reads // when i was a kid i used to read 2 or 3 books at a time, and i have found myself doing that again this month.
introducing the honorable phryne fisher & the miss fisher series by kerry greenwood // you all know that i loooooove miss fisher’s murder mysteries the show and now i’m loving the books as well! i got this one on amazon and it contains the first three miss fisher stories, two of which were turned into episodes. i do prefer the show version – the characters and storylines are more established – but maybe it’s just because i’m so dedicated to it. all in all, they are super fun and easy to read and i will probably get them all! i love having a series to complete. i have made my way through 6 of the books in the series and am starting number 7.
an extraordinary theory of objects by stephanie lacava // i think i got this book while traveling in paris a few years ago, but it has been gathering dust on my shelf since then (honestly i can’t remember the exact details of where this came from). i decided to bring it with me on my most recent travels and it was such a lovely companion. this memoir is the beautiful and very striking story of the author as a young girl, discovering and dealing with her depression when her family is uprooted and moved to france. it was tragic but hopeful and a very special read.
lolly willowes by sylvia townsend warner // i signed up for a book of the month subscription, and this was offered as an add-on for my first box. it’s actually the first ever book of the month book, from 1926! right up my alley, very jane austen-esque. it is about a middle-aged woman who, after a life of being taken care of by her family and not being able to go her own way, leaves it all behind to follow her heart. i highly recommend, and i recommend book of the month as well! i just chose my book for march today and i think it will arrive shortly.
old magazine favorites // i love rereading and getting reinspired from my collection of magazines. some of my favorites that i looked at over and over this month were some old editions of frankie, suitcase, surfista, and howl. there’s nothing quite as beautiful to me as an independently-produced magazine.
good brands //
w3ll people // i have picked up three w3ll people products this month and am using all of them daily. i have previously tried their mascara and concealer and while i didn’t love either one, i do love the ethos of the brand. the first product i got was the bio brightening powder ($21.99) which is a beautiful slightly mattifying but glow inducing setting powder. i had been on a search for the perfect setting powder and i think i found it! at the same time i also picked up the bio bronzer loose powder ($21.99) as i’ve been a little bored with my bronzing options and this guy has great reviews. it’s a really nice universal shade that gives a very realistic hint of bronze to my skin. slightly more recently i purchased the narcissist foundation stick (shade 0, pale ivory) ($28.99) which is a gorgeous cream foundation stick with extremely light, dewy coverage. i’ve been using it to even out some redness on my cheeks and nose. it sinks into the skin undetectably, but evens out the skin and can be built up effectively where necessary. i truly don’t feel like i’m wearing anything when i have this on – it feels even lighter than the glossier skin tint. i purchased all of my products at whole foods.good nails //
it’s official. i’ve fallen into the smith&cult…well, cult. i own 2 shades: tenderoni and doe my dear. both are anna instigated products and obviously bitter buddhist (a stunning muted green grey) is next on my list. i kind of hate the bottles since they are so ridiculously bulky and they have those stupid caps you take off to reveal an extremely small applicator, but i will end my rant here. the formula is aaaamazing, especially on tenderoni. it’s basically opi you don’t know jacques, one of my classic polishes, but dare i say better? less purple undertones and great application. but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for the high price ($18 vs $10), the opi is a spot on dupe. doe my dear is my ideal light greige that applies pretty well given the nature of the color. smith&cult is 5-free.
nails inc. 45 second kensington caviar top coat // when my previous bottle of this guy got old and gloopy at some point last summer, i decided to venture into other top coats and try some things out. i tried the infamous seche vite which i liked for a little while but then became meh and the sally hansen quick dry top coat which is also meh. i was previously dedicated to essie good to go, but essie doesn’t always last very long on me so i haven’t gone back to that one. finally mid-february i decided to get the nails inc. again. i don’t know what took me so long honestly. it keeps my nails fresh like no other top coat does, dries literally in 45 seconds, and i have come to the realization that i can’t be without this! plus, all nails inc. products are at least 5-free, with their nailpure range is 6-free and vegan.
good lips //
sephora coconut balm // sephora came out with some new balms this month and i grabbed the coconut one while in the checkout line one day. a really solid lip balm with a great coconut scent – real coconut, not chemical coconut. solid balm at a good price point ($6). my mom tried mine and loved it so that’s impressive (she is picky about balms and has this clinique one that she claims glues her lips together. watching her mimic this action is truly hilarious)! don’t worry, i picked one up for her immediately!
smith’s rosebud salve tube // ($6) i have the pot version of the rosebud salve and almost always have one lying around somewhere, which is great, but the tube version is much better in my opinion. definitely more user and on-the-go friendly. love the glossy finish without being sticky, the rose scent, the moisturizing properties, etc. etc. plus you don’t have to worry about it melting and oozing all over your car! (it happens…a lot.)good finds //
cleansing balms // i started washing my face differently this month and it has completely changed the dryness in my skin. at the end of january i got the pixi x caroline hirons double cleanse and it completely turned me on to cleansing balms. this one is two fold – you get an oil based cleansing balm and a cream based cleanse and use them one after the other, wiping them off with a damp washcloth. i fell in love with this process as my nighttime cleanse and wanted to pick up something slightly more eco and with more benefits, so i got the trilogy makeup be gone cleansing balm at my local whole foods. this is a gorgeous product that is extremely hydrating thanks to mango butter, rosehip oil, and coconut oil as well as other plant oils. i remove it with a warm bamboo baby washcloths that are extremely soft and gentle – and by that i mean basically the softest things ever. the result is smooth and supple skin that requires few moisturizing products afterwards. i am in love with both of these products and love interchanging them.
l’amour et la musique youtube // i fell in love with mercedes of l’amour et la musique this month. i found her while on a search for youtube reviews of eco beauty products. and she is the mecca! she reviews mostly eco skincare and cosmetics with a touch of conventional ones as well, and is so intelligent and well spoken. i actually feel that i am gaining knowledge when i watch her videos and i love having a reference for my eco interests besides medical websites. i love her!! i highly recommend her videos, especially if you want something a little more intelligent than the usual makeup dribble.
alli cherry youtube // i’ve been watching alli on and off for quite some time. honestly i used to find her a little boring, but i have completely changed my opinion over the last month. her content is extremely unique and well constructed, and she makes videos on her minimalist, low-waste, sustainable lifestyle. very refreshing and very empowering.
spearmint tea // sorry if this is tmi, but i severely suffer from lactose-intolerance and extreme stomach sensitivity, almost on a daily basis. i’m always researching any natural remedies that will help me feel better and take away some of my symptoms. i have come across spearmint tea quite frequently and after thoroughly trialling it, i must sing its praises. spearmint tea is known for many health benefits, but especially for its aid in digestion and management of a variety of stomach symptoms, including those related to ibs. i actually just love the sweet, refreshing way spearmint tea tastes (i drink it as is, no sugar, no milk, no honey) so i enjoy drinking it even when i’m not struggling with my stomach. but when i am struggling, i find it soothes my symptoms and eases my pain very quickly, and for that i extremely grateful. other benefits include fresh breath, hormonal balance, stress relief, and chronic disease prevention. it is also a great aid to dieters when paired with healthy diet and exercise. it is important to note that these benefits are from spearmint tea, i’m not sure if mint or peppermint tea apply. i find mine at whole foods.
kevita sparkling probiotic drinks // in the same vein as the beverage above, i started drinking kevita this month. in the past 2 weeks i don’t know if a day has gone by that i haven’t had at least half a bottle of one. it’s quite an expensive habit, but i actually think it is helping my tummy troubles. basically it’s a sparkling juice drink that is filled with good bacteria for your stomach and digestion. it’s a little kombucha-tasting (at least the flavors i have tried) but not too much and is really quite refreshing. not too sweet, organic, and all natural. i’ve been buying in bulk at whole foods. my favorite flavors are strawberry acai coconut and hibiscus berry.good living //
i haven’t mentioned it yet here, mostly because it is a topic that is extremely difficult for me to talk about, but in just a few weeks my parents are moving out of my childhood home. since i currently live in said home, i have been completely part of the moving process. and even though i hate that we are doing it, i am learning a lot about myself through this move. i’m reevaluating what i have and getting rid of what i don’t need – both physically and emotionally. i’m centering myself around the person that i truly want to be and am becoming/almost am, and i’m keeping what i feel benefits that person. even right down to the skincare and makeup and crap that i keep in my bathroom. i’m letting go and i’m creating a new space that is organic and natural and equal to me. through this, i’m especially reevaluating the material items that aren’t benefitting me in a health manner, and i’m turning over a new eco leaf. it’s something i have delved into in the past, but it stressed me out and at times felt like too much to conquer. but now i’m paying attention. i’m using up and then getting rid of the scary chemicals and nasty ingredients and the shit that i just don’t use or need or even want. but more on that later…
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stop what you’re doing. camille rowe’s top shelf is finally on into the gloss. go! now! image via itg