beauty tips

Winter Skincare essentials

Every winter I wonder how I managed to survive through the last one. I am now staying in France and the weather isn't the coldest, but I am heading back to NY this weekend so I wanted to go through my survival tips to protect my skin during winter before that. As I tend to have a much dryer skin during winter, I found some solutions that work for me, and I hope it'll help you too.

 

How to protect your skin from drying

  • Use oils to clean your skin. If you don't do it already, I recommend switching your usual cleansing products for a good cleansing oil. It removes all dirt and makeup perfectly without drying the skin, leaving a protective layer even once you rinse it. I love how effective Boscia's Cleansing Oil is while being gentle on the skin, and it doesn't leave the skin oily either.
  • Use a different moisturizer during winter. You need a thicker cream that protects from the cold and wind during the whole day. This season I use Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Cream as I find its texture perfect for what I need during the winter, it's soothing and comfortable on the skin, and I love its herbal smell which makes me feel so relaxed.
  • Remember to always exfoliate (not more than once a week if your skin is pretty fragile). Exfoliating your skin regularly allows to remove the dead cells and let your moisturizer and masks be more effective. It's also better if you tend to have a dry skin that can be irregular and you want to wear foundation. I wrote about Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion Exfoliator before, that I use only once a week or less because it is very effective.
  • Drink 2L of liquids a day (preferably not too much coffee or tea that actually takes the water out of your body). It's especially hard for me to drink during winter as it makes me feel cold, so if you're the same you can make a huge tumbler of herbal infusion and bring it everywhere with you, so you can have both hydration and warmth.
  • Invest in a humidifier. Some heaters dry the air so much that I wake up with a very swollen face, especially around the eyes. The only solution for that is to use a good humidifier in your bedroom.
 
 

 

How to repair an already damaged skin

  • Skin food by Weleda! I talked about it when I first created The French Glow, and I am still in love with this product. It saved my skin many times when it felt so dry it was red and tight. I use it at night on the dry areas of my face, as it is so thick that you can't put it on during the day unless you want to look greasy. It doesn't burn like some other creams and the next day my skin feels normal again, it's like magic. You can buy it at every organic store or at Wholefoods.
  • Use a moisturizing mask. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still a favorite as it does the job, has an amazing smell and it's not too pricey.
  • Remember to eat enough fats. Even if you are eating a high carb low fat diet, remember that your brain, body, and skin need a certain amount of fat to function. And fat is really important to help the skin to stay hydrated naturally and elastic. So enjoy the avocado toasts and flax seeds in your smoothies.
  • If your skin feels sensitive, you can use Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist to calm it down. I received a sample of it and I am definitely satisfied. Rosewater helps to prevent dehydration and prepares the skin for a better absorption of your moisturizer but honestly, even if it did nothing, I'd just use it for the smell and refreshing feeling.
 
 
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Japanese beauty tips

When I was in Tokyo, I noticed that many women I saw in the subway or the streets had perfect skin, almost as if they had no pores ! We also often say that Japanese people age better than occidental people, and of course a part of it is due to genetics but they also make a big effort to keep good skin condition. And as I said before, Japanese people inspire me by their ability to do everything so well, including skincare. Since I could experience daily a few of the Japanese beauty rituals, I wanted to list the ones that are not too hard to follow.

 

Massages

When you're a model who works in Japan you experience the craziest work hours (3am call time, yes ! And I even had a 10pm-8am night job). But the hair and make up moment is makes you forgive the clients for the lack of sleep : the skin preparation is almost like going to a spa. The one thing that the make-up artists often do is an energetic face massage, that stimulates the blood circulation and helps to get rid of dark circles, puffiness and tiredness. Not only you look better, but you also feel better : they press key points in the neck, under the ears and on the jaw muscles, the temples of course but also under the brow line... It reminds me of Shiatsu massage and it sure helps to eliminate stress and relax while feeling more energized.

What you can do is a 5min massage in the morning while applying your day cream, starting from the middle of the face and going towards the edge (from the chin to the jaws, from the nose to the ears, and from the center of the eyebrows to the temples), and pressing gently on the temples and the jaw muscles.

 

Green tea

They drink it all day, hot or cold, but especially after lunch and dinner to help digestion. Green tea is also know for helping to flush toxins, so it's a great ingredient to include in your daily health routine. I am not talking about the bitter green tea you find in any supermarket, but the herbal one from Japan with a soft taste. Matcha is also one of my favorite Japanese teas (and I love that you can use the powder in smoothies, and desserts too) !

 

Avoid the sun

I've only been to Japan during summer, and you probably already heard about it or seen it, but the Japanese will prefer to protect themselves from the sun with umbrellas, gloves and hats instead of using sunscreen. They do it mostly because they love the look of a pearl white skin, but the effect is undeniable : sun causes skin aging, so those who hide from it keep a young, baby-like skin longer. I personally cannot live without sun, it's also a good source of vitamin D and I love a little tan but I try to limit my exposure and always use sunscreen, as it's a good compromise between care and fun.

 

Warm eyelash curler

If you hate the eyelash curler and you always pinch your eyelids with it, this is the one Japanese makeup tool you'll love ! It's like a small hair curler - less hot of course and with protection - that you will use to curl your lashes with the heat. Almost all Japanese makeup artists use it on shoots.

The pros : no pinch and you can use it after putting mascara on. The cons : even if it's pretty safe, I would say be careful not to burn yourself and I find it less convenient that it's electric and not mechanic.

You can find it on Amazon for 15,99$

 

Only one layer of nail polish

It's funny how in 50% of my shoots in Japan they used only one layer of nail polish. The first time I didn't really like it as I was wondering why putting nail polish if it's not to cover completely the nail and leave it slightly off. And I always associated nail polish with perfectly done nails. But I finally really liked the lighter look of a more romantic nail and not pop. Like when you apply a little bit of glossy eye shadow and want it to stay transparent. I like how it goes well with fall colors - light purple, kaki green and grayish blue.

 

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Photography by Shun Sasaki for Vogue Japan

Photography by Shun Sasaki for Vogue Japan

Summer makeup

Picture by Gaetan Caputo for Vogue Australia

Picture by Gaetan Caputo for Vogue Australia

Unless you simply don't wear makeup, there are a few differences between winter and summer regarding the types of products you can use. I already said it before but the biggest differences between both seasons are sweat and sun. And while you have to protect yourself from the sun, the sweat will make your eyeshadow travel from your eyes to your cheeks. Not cool. You can of course decide to retouch your makeup every half hour, but in case you want it to last longer you can change simple things.

 

Lips over eyes

Even with sweat, in general a good lipstick will turn less messy than a lot of eyeshadow. So a thing you can do is choose to wear lip makeup instead or eye makeup. If you're not comfortable doing a perfect red lip, you can apply the color with your finger, and make it diffused instead of very defined. Which I find better for the day since it's more casual. Lip gloss or tinted balms are great alternatives too.

Creamy textures over powders

You can test it, very often creamy textures will hold longer than eyeshadow because they are more water resistant. So if you want to use makeup on your eyes, keep this in mind so you don't have to worry about it ending somewhere else than the eyes.

Go waterproof

Well, this one is a little obvious, but choose your mascara waterproof and the best is to go easy with the amount you use not to feel like your lashes are heavy. A nice water resistant liquid eyeliner can be the best for a light but effective look.

Use lighter colors

If it does smear, you'd prefer it to be rose gold, or beige tones than black, right ? Also light colors simply look fresher for summer. So have fun with colors that you can also use as highlighters on you cheekbones.

Free your Skin

The best if you feel comfortable enough with your skin is to use foundation only sparingly, with just a little bit of it on the imperfections, instead of covering your whole skin with it. It will feel less heavy on your skin. You can also chose to use a tinted moisturizer instead. If you're tanning a lot, don't forget to change your foundation/concealer tints. Also don't forget to use a primer during summer before your makeup. It prevents skin oil to mess up your makeup, and it makes your skin look healthier and feel fresher.

 
  • Glossier - Haloscope - 22$ It's the kind of multi purpose makeup products : you can use it as a highlight or on your eyelids depending on which color you're using. I love the texture, which is super creamy and gives a nice glow. You can get 20% off at Glossier using my link.
  • Mario Badescu - Facial Spray - 7$ Even if this isn't a primer, I sometimes use it before my makeup because it makes my skin feel fresh and ready. I actually store it in the fridge for extra coolness.
  • Milk makeup - Eye Vinyl - 20$ Milk makeup is my new favorite and I will test more from them because I love their packaging and the overall look of their brand. I like Eye Vinyl because it's so easy to use. The nude one gives a very cool dewy effect and the black one a strong and punkish look depending on how you apply it, but you may want to train a little bit to apply it well, not to be messy.

 

  1. Mac cosmetics - Liquidlast Liner - 21$ If you know how to use liquid liner and you do it well, it will just stay perfect the whole day without moving !
  2. Make Up For Ever - Aqua Cream - 23$ Lots of colors to play with and the waterproof creamy texture will hold much better than powder in the heat.
  3. L'Oréal - Sexy Balm - 7,90€ Perfect if you want a rich color while keeping your lips hydrated. The shape makes it super easy to use.

Lip Therapy

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Many people think this is only a winter issue, but lips are just like another area of your skin and need care if you don't want an irregular look or chapped lips. The good news is, it's pretty damn easy and doesn't require so much time or products ! Almost every time I get my makeup done at a shoot, whether we use lipstick or have bare lips, I get a nice scrub and moisturizer because you can see every detail in pictures. If we use lipstick, then it's even more necessary to do so, if we want to have a perfect, smooth and even result.

 
 

Every makeup artist has their own way to do it, from using a special scrubbing cloth, a clean mascara brush, a q-tip with a baby wipe or a good lip scrub. But the important thing is to first hydrate with a rich balm (or even Vaseline) and wait a little bit for the skin to soften to make sure you don't hurt yourself. If you do it in the morning you can even use a toothbrush to scrub, but don't be too harsh. Moisturize again after and voilà ! Some things don't need to be complicated.

  • Sugar Lip Polish - Fresh - 24$ Is a good way to scrub your lips and remove the dead cells while also protecting and hydrating. Some prefer to make DIY lip scrubs, but if you're as lazy as I am this one is for you.
  • Eight Hour Cream - Elizabeth Arden - 22$ What I like about this cream, is that while being moisturizing, it also gives this nice transparent glossy look (it's what I have on in the second picture). And as you only need a little bit, the tube lasts forever.
  • Sugar Lip Treatment - Fresh - 24$ Definitely loving the Fresh Lip collection ! This lip balm is different thanks to the SPF protection, great for the summer time. The tinted version is nice for a more done effect with no effort.

Summer Beauty

It feels like it's boiling in New York right now, and I'm more than fine with it after complaining for too long that the weather wasn't warm enough ! It's the time for acai bowls, iced coffees and days at the beach, and I love how all that sounds. But it's also the time when you sweat, feel sticky and have to be more careful about the sun, and because of that, I do have a different beauty routine compared to other seasons.

During winter I want thick creams that will protect my skin from damages because of the cold, and on the contrary when it's hot to the point my face is sweaty during the day I need to have some products that help refreshing while keeping the hydration. Instead of having a rich cream applied every morning, I will sometimes do touch ups with my sunscreen and a thinner day cream because the sweat washes off the products. I'll also use primers and lotions more often to stop the sticky feeling.

How to chose your Sunscreen

Your choice of sunscreen is very important, even when you have a natural dark skin, because it's not just that your skin will look older if you get burnt, but so many people neglect the serious health damages that sun can cause ! So remember : protect the skin you're in !!

To make it simple here are a few quick things to know when it comes to sunscreen : yes, you will tan even with a sunscreen, you will simply avoid the burnt stage, and do not overestimate your skin and take a too low SPF because you want to tan quicker : you have only one skin. I used to buy lower SPF, mostly because I was in areas when the sun is less aggressive (I spent summers in the north of France and London) but also because I was caring a little less about it, and my skin doesn't burn too easily (it does, but I also tan pretty well) so I thought I needed less protection. I started being careful when I became a model because I had to be sure I wouldn't damage my skin. That's when I realized that even with a SPF50+ you still tan. So in case you would not want to tan or if your skin is really, really fragile, don't forget to wear a hat too ! Also, if you want to use a lower SPF, know that the best is to use a higher one at the beginning of the summer, and when your skin is more tanned, then you can allow yourself to chose a slightly weaker protection.

  • Bioderma - Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF50+ - 11€ This sunscreen is what I use this summer on my face. I bought it because I was in France (as simple as that) at a pharmacy, because everyone knows french pharmacies have the best skin care products (well at least now you know). I love the super fluid texture and it doesn't show that you have sunscreen on, which is cool because I use it almost everyday when I'm in a city. My first criteria to chose my face sunscreen was that wouldn't give me pimples, as I used to have this problem and this sunscreen is especially non-comedogenic.
  • Kiehl's - Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ - 38$ This one was my sunscreen last summer. I chose it because I was asking all my model friends what sunscreen they liked, which doesn't show and doesn't give you spots. Kiehl's was the most common answer. As the name let you guess, the texture is super fluid as well which is great when you don't want to feel all greasy for your day in the sun. Enjoy !
  • Supergoop - Defense Refresh Setting mist SPF 50 - 28$ Because if you like to wear a little more make up than I do, it may be a lot more convenient for you to buy an over-the-makeup sunscreen instead of applying your sunscreen first, especially if you do touch ups during the day. Supergoop is both a sunscreen and a make-up setting, how can you beat that ?

Summer Beauty Favorites

  • Bogavia - Essential Facial Toner - 16$ You know I love Bogavia. This toner is not an exception and I think it's perfect to prepare the skin before your moisturizer, refresh your skin through a hot day, and to heal irritated skin in the evening, after spending your day applying sunscreen again and again. It contains Aloe Vera which is known to be a natural healing product. What I like most in this toner is that even if it wets the skin it stills hydrates it, which is very important if you use it during the day, and the skin tone looks more even and healthy.
  • Ouai - Hair Oil - 28$ If you plan to spend days at the beach, you know how it feels to have broken hair because of the salty water : I can't even brush it because I am so scared to lose everything. The only thing that helps me with that is to apply some oil in my hair to create a fence between the salty water and the hair and then you can style it with braids or a bun or whatever you prefer to keep it together. Ouai Hair Oil smells so good I also use it everyday to style my hair.
  • Klorane - Sothing and Relaxing Patches - 24$ I personally have one problem that occurs mostly during very cold winters and very hot summers : puffy morning face. It's mostly because of the dry air that the heaters and air conditioning creates (and yes I plan to invest in a very good quality air-humidifier because my current one doesn't work). I love Klorane patches because they're very easy to use and gentle, and they work well.

Body Tips

There are a few things that make life easier during the summer. Try to avoid silly mistakes.

  • It's best to avoid wearing perfume before going out in the sun. The alcohol it contains can make the sun effects way stronger on the area where you sprayed perfume. It can result in having differences in skin color where you sprayed your perfume. Not fun. So it's better to reserve your perfume for the evenings, or to spray it on your clothes.
  • Sometimes when it's way too hot, your legs can hurt. Walking helps blood circulation a lot because it doesn't create shocks in your legs like when you run but it helps to pump up the blood. Of course if there is a heat wave, do not walk too much and don't forget to drink enough water !! Putting your legs up and cold showers are great advices as well to enhance the blood flow.
  • It's a no brainer but don't shave/wax right before sun exposure. It's the best way to irritate your skin, and end up being alone in the shadow while your friends are having fun without you.
  • Same if you scrub your skin. And remember to protect your skin from the sun even more after scrubbing, because you are exposing a new, fresh skin to the sun, which isn't tanned yet. This is also true after a facial scrub obviously.

Traveling beauty essentials

I am about to fly to London and I haven't stayed there for a while, how exciting is that ! As I am preparing for my flight, I realized it took my a little while to know exactly what to bring with me in the cabin to be able to feel comfy and take care of my health/beauty. In the past, I often landed sweaty with breaking-dry skin and feeling very uncomfortable. Planes will never be as welcoming as home of course, but I felt like writing about the little life changing tips.

Hydration

I think if you should focus on only one tip it's this part you should remember. Air conditioning in planes does not only dry your skin but also dehydrates your body, and hydration is so important for your health at any level, you don't want to feel sick when you arrive at your destination !

  • Drink water. It's a no brainer but you need to drink more than what the plane personnel offers you. You could carry an empty bottle with you at the airport that you can fill with water after security or buy one, and not hesitate to ask for more water during the flight. It's recommended to drink at least a glass (250mL) per hour of flight.
  • It can be useful to do a high hydrating face mask the night/day before your flight, so your skin will be prepared for hours of dry air.
  • Always carry lip balm with you ! You can also use it around the eyes (but be careful not to put it in the eyes though) if you don't want to bring too many products, as it will also protect this area.
  • Think about the hand cream ! I use to forget to pack this ultra necessary item, and after washing my hands many times, my skin literally started breaking. So HAND CREAM, always, but even more necessary during flights.
  • Eye drops. As I wear contact lenses, it really makes a difference for me. Maybe you won't feel like you need to use it, but you might want to consider it.

Comfort first

I don't understand people who want to look too fancy on a plane : if you're one of them, I don't judge you but seriously how do you do ?? I feel like if I can't be comfy enough to sleep and relax, I won't look good when the plane lands, and that's more important than being cute during the flight.

  • Compression tights. Okay, I use to think these were only for grandmas and I refused to be involved in such things. But when you have to fly more than 3-4 hours it's seriously the item you want. Swollen ankles and feet ? Painful legs ? Compression tights help you avoid it. Normally you should go to your pharmacy and ask them to take your measurements, because if it isn't the right size it can do more bad than good (like blocking the blood circulation) or/and be uncomfortable. If I have a short flight, I also sometimes use 2XU recovery compression tights. They are made for recovery after working out, enhancing the blood flow. As they don't cover the ankles and feet they are not perfect, but they are comfortable and they still help a lot the blood circulation. Also remember to put your legs up when ever you can after landing.
  • Eye mask. This isn't ugly neither annoying, so you got no excuse. Of course it helps when your neighbor wants to read its book, or when the cabin lights are on, but for me it's also a life savior to keep my eyes from drying.
  • Wipes. I usually don't like to use make up remover/cleaning wipes as it's a lot of waste and it's not the most gentle for the skin. But on planes it's great to have something to refresh yourself and wash off the sweat, wash your hands, clean any spilling...
 
 
 

Other tips

  • Think small. Because of security, but also for your own comfort as it can become pretty heavy to have too many products that you only need in tiny quantities, don't forget to use travel sizes or use small containers to put a little bit of your favorite products with you.
  • Stay organized. You don't want to have to take everything out of you bag to find you hand cream, and then having your eye drops rolling under your seat... Think travel cases or transparent bags to keep it easy.
  • Bring your own headphones. Even if you are not a music addict, having good quality headphones change everything when it comes to watch movies, or even just sleep without hearing babies crying (there's always a baby crying). Since I started using mine, I always feel bad for my neighbors who are sticking with little earbuds or airlines headphones since the constant noise irritates me. You might want to think about it.