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.

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

* press samples


5 Summer Essentials!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 17 - 2010

Mid August… the kids are still off school (don’t we all know it?!) and for many of us, the Summer is just starting to wind down.  We’ve already indulged in some Autumn/Winter makeup collections and gladiator sandals just don’t seem that appealing anymore.

Here’s some of the products that have made my Summer more enjoyable and at times, bearable!

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Liz Earle Foot Spritzer – £7

Instant relief for hot, tired feet.  Simply spritz all over to cool and refresh.  I actually spray on my legs aswell, the cooling sensation is undeniable though the menthol is a touch overpowering for some.

Mr. L moans when I use it in an enclosed space, though he admits that he finds it preferable to the smell of my feet.

This special edition Summer product is only available until the 5th September, so not long to stock up.

Available online from Liz Earle..

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Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder – £23.50

I’m in love with both of my Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powders (I also bought Maui this Summer).

Sheer with a touch of sparkle, Antigua blows my bronzing fear out of the water. The delicate pink shade sits realistically against my skintone and the buildable nature means that this is one product I won’t over-cook.

Available at counters nationwide or online.

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Mitchum Powder Fresh Roll On Deodorant – £2.79

If you’re looking for something to combat a particularly troublesome Summer issue, then Mitchum never lets me down.

The roll-on, “powder fresh” formula is my particular fav and for me, it really lives up to it’s claims of 48hr protection.

I don’t use this all year round, simply because I try to use something that contains less aluminium when I can get away with it.  But nothing will sway me from this product throughout the sweaty months.

Available from most supermarkets/chemists.

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Caudalie Organic Grape Water – £7

Another instant reliever for sweaty days, the can dispenses a fine mist that cools and refreshes. This was a lifesaver during a BBQ one warm evening after one of my Sk:n Laser Hair Removal sessions.

Extracted from grapes during the harvest the ingredient’s list reads: Grape Fruit Water, Grape Juice and Nitrogen. That’s it. Fabulous!

Available online from LookFantastic

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Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo – £4.29

I’ve been reaching for this little can a lot over the last few weeks.  Tresemme’s take on the dry shampoo market is less “powdery” than the high street alternatives.  It dispenses a fine and completely clear mist that seems somehow more controllable than my Batiste.

However, it’s double the price…

I’ll repurchase with pleasure, but only when I find it on special offer.

Available from most supermarkets/chemists

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What products have been making your summer even more pleasurable?.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 28 - 2010

I picked up this Caudalie Lip Conditioner whilst I was on holiday a few weeks ago… I’d left my Lanolips at home and was after something fairly inexpensive and easy to apply.

I can’t detect a strong scent nor taste from this rather minimalistic-looking balm, it displays an impressive list of ingredients including beeswax, shea butter and grapeseed extract topped of with an SPF of 8.

Caudalie is a French brand that I’m not hugely familiar with  but I know that they place an emphasis on natural beauty and this product is no exception having been formulated with 99.5% naturally-derived ingredients.

It keeps my lips in check under normal circumstances, but I haven’t needed to put it to any serious dryness tests as my lips are in OK condition thanks to my Lanolips.  I do love how convenient and solid the Caudalie Lip Conditioner is… it makes for super quick on-the-go application with no risks of looking like you’ve dipped your mouth in goosefat.

I think I paid around £6 for my Caudalie Lip Conditioner, but you can buy it online for £5.50

Recommended!

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