Allons enfants de la Patrie…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 14 - 2011

…Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

I have strong connections to our neighbours over the other side of the English Channel and I’m not just talking about my love for Steak Frites!  I spent every Summer, the entire 6 week school holidays practicing my rubbish French and playing with the local kids not too far from La Rochelle.  My parents still visit for a few months every Summer and still try to drag me over there for family holidays fifteen years later!

It’s been a good few years since I visited for longer than a day trip, I think the overkill when I was a child/teenager may have put me off a little but the country will always hold a special place in my heart.

So, in honour of Bastille day and the fact that ordinarily (were it not ‘weigh in day’) I would be stuffing my face with Brioche and Pain au Raisin to mark the occasion, I’m gonna pay tribute to some awesome and lesser-known French brands that you ought to know more about!

1.  Darphin – Hailing from Paris, Darphin is a professional, botanical skincare line that takes a more holistic approach.  Priding itself on its aromatic, plant-based formulas, the latest addition to the line: Melaperfect* is an Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Treatment designed for skin with hyper pigmentation.

2.  Rouge Baiser – This French drugstore brand is best known for creating the first ‘kiss-proof’ lipstick in 1927.  I own #405 L’Authentique… isn’t the packaging to die for?

3.  Nuxe – Born out of a small laboratory in Paris, Nuxe is now one of the best-selling brands in pharmacies today.  Another brand firmly based in natural origins, their dry oils have a global fan-base.  Apply a few spritzes to your skin, face, hair… anything that could do with a gentle golden shimmer!  The Huile Prodigieuse Or* is an iconic holiday essential.

4.  Payot – Created in 1927, this Parisian (I’m sensing a theme) Spa brand offers a huge range of products and spa treatments.  The philosophy of the brand is also heavily invested in massage techniques and facial exercises, practically pioneering beauty rituals that are still used in spas today.  The Payot Lift-Performance Firming Remodelling Care has been put to work on my (many) wobbly bits in the hope of some remodelling of my own!

5.  Caudalie – Born from French vineyards, the philosophy behind the brand is based in the anti-oxidant properties of the grape and the grapevine polyphenols.  The Caudalie Beauty Elixir promises to tighten pores and provides an instant burst of radiance to the skin.  I’m a long-term fan of the Grape Water spritz as an alternative to my Avene in hot weather so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can achieve any ooh la la miracles with the power of wine grape.

6.  T. LeClerc – The T. LeClerc line is steeped in heritage and prestige, best known for the iconic T. LeClerc powders in various correcting shades.  One day, I will get my hands on Banane but as things stand, I will make do with my blush and lipstick in all their beautifully packaged glory!

7.  Bioderma – You can’t enter a French pharmacie without being greeted by the same staple lines: Avene, Vichy, Bioderma, La Roche Posay and Biotherm to name just a few.  Of course most people know about the Bioderma Crealine H2O by now but the brand make some other lovely products too!  Bioderma Sebium Foaming Gel is a gently foaming wash for combination skin that doesn’t strip my face of moisture.  I’m getting my Pharmacie dealer (a.k.a Mum) to bring me back some more Pharmacie goodies this Autumn!

8.  Parfums D’Empire – My most expensive perfume purchase to date is Ambre Russe from Parisian fragrance house, Parfums D’Empire.  The most decadent combination of rum (though I think I’m supposed to smell vodka), amber, leather, tobacco and tea that catapults you straight into the grand corridors of an imperial Russian palace of yesteryear.  It’s completely over the top and a love it or hate it scent.  Can you tell I love it?  Love.  It.  Next on my list is Cuir Ottoman… just as delightful.

.

What are your favourite French brands in honour of Bastille Day?

* press samples


Le lipstick, le MAC et le BIG Mac!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 27 - 2011

Last weekend saw VexintheCity and myself wandering the streets of Paris, city of lights and painfully stylish women.  What is it with Parisienne ladies anyway?  Do they teach eyeliner in schools?  I didn’t see a single pair of eyes that hadn’t been expertly rimmed with smudgy black kohl.  It was both refreshing and slightly intimidating.

Here’s some shots from the (very long) day out, starting with the Paris essentials:

A map, we looked at it blankly all day long.

Jaffa Cakes – Don’t attempt the Eurostar at 6.22am without copious amounts of sugar close at hand.

Papped – I swear to God I did not pose for this!  Red lipstick made me feel almost cultured enough to tread the cobbled streets though.

Undeniably Paris!  Napoleon’s rebuild of the great city renders it thoroughly iconic with it’s long, wide Boulevards and grand Avenues!

Ahhh Sephora!  My first ever visit!  This is the one on Champs Élysées, we arrived v. early and as you can see, it wasn’t too busy at all!

Makeup, makeup as far as the eye can see!

Can you believe we sat our bums down on the posh chairs in Ladurée only to be told that we were too early for cake?  Too early… for cake?  So we boycotted all things French and went to McDonalds instead.  No really… we were famished!

As night fell, we indulged in a little of Paris’ notorious cafe culture… I recommend the house Merlot at Café Kléber, though I was a bit squiffy after only two glasses!

As you can probably tell by this photo.

But not this one!  Oooh La la!  Je t’aime La Tour Eiffel!

So what did I buy in the capital of fashion, beauty and all things ladylike?  Not a lot actually.  I’m saving my pennies for this weekend at IMATS but I did pick up a couple of bits…

See?  How restrained was I?

Despite all your fabulous advice and words of temptation, (for which I was immensely grateful and will be relying on when I return later in the year!) I held back and only picked up a Bioderma cleanser (for Mr. L!), a MAC CCB (I know, sacrilege to go to Paris and buy MAC right?) and a Rouge Baiser Lipstick (described as the world’s first ‘kiss-proof’ lipstick!)

Did I do well?  I also played with some MUFE in Sephora and expanded my IMATS wishlist tenfold.  Oops.

Bioderma Crealine / Sensibio H2O Cleanser – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 30 - 2009

So, this is it…

The Holy Grail of cleansers.. used by celebrities, models, MUA and now me.

Does it live up to the hype?

sensibio

Actually it is pretty awesome.

However, let’s be clear – this ain’t some miracle “1 swipe all makeup gone” cleanser… which although tempting to imagine, is utter nonsense.  Infact, I don’t find it as effective on my eyes as my Boots Botanics eye makeup remover (the dual phase one) but let’s not forget that Bioderma is working it’s magic without the help of various oils.

This stuff is plain Jane. If it didn’t have a label on it announcing the contents – I could easily mistake it for half a litre of Evian.  It’s odourless and colourless with a texture just like water.

And this is where it’s greatest strength lies, it is incredibly gentle on the delicate eye area and does a good job at removing all sorts of makeup including waterproof mascara.  I still cleanse afterwards with water and whatever happens to be “cleanser of the month” sitting by my sink… but this is just so handy to dip a q-tip into to neaten up your eyemakeup or lipline.

There’s gonna be someone out there who’s skin is sensitive to this stuff… but I’d be happy to bet they’re few and far between.  After cleansing, my skin feels clean, non-tacky, non-oily and surprisingly soothed and moisturised.  If I ever go camping or backpacking (heaven forbid) I’d make sure this was safely packed before I’d even think about packing knickers.

Bioderma have recently rebranded this from “Crealine” to “Sensibio” so if you’re after a bottle, make sure you look out for either name – they’re the same product.

You can purchase a 500ml bottle from the UK at LeGuideSante for a reasonable £8.45 however shipping is a prohibitive £6.50.  Better yet, bribe someone holidaying in France to look it up for you and bring it back as a pressie (like I did – fanks Mum!)

[starreview tpl=14]

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