cosmetics

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion

I find that many face or body scrubs tend to be either too weak and do almost nothing, or too strong. I recently tried a sample of Microdermabrasion by Dr. Brand and I thought it'd be one of the one that are too strong as the smell is minty, which personally makes me think of harsh, but it ended up being one of the most effective face scrubs I tried, without irritating my skin.

You simply use it after damping your skin with warm water, and as it's very effective thanks to its gritty texture you really don't need to use much, so it lasts pretty long, which is a good thing since it's an expensive product. If you have a slightly sensitive skin you can simply not rub it too much. Although, If you have an extremely sensitive skin maybe this product isn't for you.

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After the first use, my skin was baby smooth, free from any dead skin, and I also felt like I got my "pre-Japan" skin back, finally ! I don't know if it's only psychological but I feel that my creams are absorbed better in my skin and I can notice a nicer glow afterwards. I wouldn't recommend using a face scrub more than once a week, and that frequency with Microdermabrasion works perfectly for me. It's one of my favorite beauty discoveries at the moment !

Three Cosmetics

I am in Tokyo at the moment (that's why I haven't been writing on my blog so much since the work rhythm in Japan tends to be a little overwhelming), and I was obviously curious to find out what the best Japanese beauty brands were, because when the Japanese do something, they do it well. From the brands I tried, Three definitely stands out and will be part of my beauty/makeup regular products for sure.

As you know, I am into natural products that are also chic. Three is one of these brands, it keeps a high standard while being on the natural side of this industry, using as many organic products as possible. The one thing I love about their skincare products is the smell from the essential oils and the botanical ingredients : everything smells like a very comforting rosemary scent. I was also happy to read most of their ingredients come from Japan, it makes the brand more appealing to my eyes and a must try.

The brand has 4 different kind of products : balancing, conditioning, concentrate and AC. They have different purposes ; helping the natural moisture and oil balance of the skin, night care, anti-aging and a body line focusing on massaging benefits. I mostly tried the balancing items since it's the section that was recommended to me at first and where they have a wider variety of products. I experienced some changes in my skin while being in Japan ; more sensitive, getting red easily, and dry. Probably mostly because of the daily routine differences, diet changes, and maybe the very hot and humid weather has some influence too, but I have to say after using Three almost every night, my skin felt less sensitive and less dry.

 

When I asked wha the best seller item was, they showed me the Balancing Cleansing Oil. I already explained how cleansing your face with oil feels more gentle and with the help of the essential oils, it helps soothing a sensitive skin. In addition, like all the skincare products I tested from Three, the herbs smell, especially the rosemary one, sets you in a calm and cocooning mood.

 

I only use lotion after deep cleansing with a milk to try to stay simple. This Balancing Lotion, that you apply pressing with a cotton on the entire face, moisture the skin and makes the skin glow and healthy.

It may be personal but I tend to use oil only with a light makeup or bare skin, and milk and lotion after a shoot or night out with heavy makeup. I like having different rituals depending on the situation - and more products to try. This Balancing Cleansing Milk removes all makeup and dead cells while staying really soft on the skin.

 
 

You can finish your care with the Balancing Cream, for a rich and deep hydration and protection. although if you want a more complete (and much longer) Japanese-Korean skin care routine, there are many other steps to follow.

 

I also love their makeup section, and was especially seduced by their eye gloss, which color your eyes with a nice subtle dewy texture while protecting your eyelids from drying as they still use their essential oils. I love also their epic mini dash and all their pop colors that you can use as a lip gloss or... A blush. If there is one thing I noticed from the difference in how Japanese women do their everyday make up is that they go very high on the cheek with rosy blush tints. I'd be careful not to over do it, but it does give them a cute (kawaii), fresh and young look. Something to subtly get inspiration from them.

The Whisper Gloss for Eyes is my favorite item from the whole brand. I bought the brown and purple one, and I love how the colors are intense but because of the texture it doesn't look too strong. It soothes easily and keep the eyelid hydrated while you wear makeup.

Epic Mini Dash. Look at all the fresh colors they have. I didn't buy these items because I don't wear blush often, but tested it at the store and got a chance to use it at a job on both lips and cheeks. I may go back to the store and buy one rosy tint because it does give a young cute look.

 

Now you guessed Three is a new favorite for me, and I will test more stuff from them in the future for sure, like their masks and body care. I also love their minimal packaging that focuses on the essential, and the quality of their products is undeniable.

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.

Face masks of the moment

Face masks are a great way to accelerate an effect, whether it's purifying your skin (you also can read about Skinclay masks in my previous beauty article), repairing the damages from the cold weather, regenerating a tired skin, hydrating and so much more. I love to use at least one face mask per week because I live in a big town, therefore exposed to pollution and I want to keep a baby-soft skin no matter what ! Sometimes I'll use it more often or I will use different kind of masks depending on what my skin needs most. I'm also always curious to see what's new on the market and compare brands. At the moment I have 4 masks I like to switch between.

 

 
 

 

erborian - Matcha perfect mask

 

Great for : purifying, minimizing pores.

A new discovery for me ! I liked the very simple packaging, and I was dying to try it since I love matcha and I know Korea is the best for skin care. It's a morning revitalizing mask that takes only 1mn to apply. You pour one of the individual doses in your hand and add some drops of water until you have a paste (this can be tricky or messy at first but once you figure out the perfect amount of water to add it's all good). Apply the paste on your face and leave for 1mn. Then massage with cool wet hands and rinse with cold water : I find that the cold effect paired with green tea helps de-puffing the morning face. I was a little skeptical about how much effect could only 1mn do but my skin was really "baby-soft" and the pores looked smaller especially on the cheeks and forehead.

 

Erborian - Matcha Perfect Mask - 25£

 

Origins - Drink Up Intensive

 

Good for : deep hydration.

This one is my favorite at the moment. It smells like apricot which gives a summer feeling at all times. I use it more often than once a week : every time before getting on a plane, because this mask prevents from future moisture loss, and whenever my skin is dry but not broken (when I simply need an intense hydration). It's an overnight mask to apply after cleaning your face before going to bed, so I tend to associate it with a zen, relaxing feeling.

 

Lancôme - Energie de Vie Nuit

 

Good for : repairing and hydrating.

You can actually use this one as a night cream using a little thinner layer if your skin suffers a lot from pollution and season changes. Used as a mask you will apply a thicker layer for about 10mn. I love the texture which is fresh, transparent, perfect for a spring/summer skin routine. Neither heavy nor too thick, very smooth and easily absorbed, way different from other types of masks. I started using it about once a week and after long trips for a refreshed and healthy skin.

 

Lancôme Energie de Vie Nuit - 66€

 

Sisley - Black Rose Cream Mask

 

Good for : reducing traces of fatigue, plumping the skin

As this mask is more pricey I use it less often, saving it for special occasions. I find it to be a life savior for after-party skin. Drinking/smoking, and/or not sleeping makes your skin feel tired-dull-dry, and Sisley's rose mask plumps and brightens the skin while moisturizing it. The strong rose smell is also by far my favorite ! Paired with the rich creamy texture it is really cocooning my skin when I need it most. More of a conventional mask, you apply a nice layer on your skin and simply remove the unabsorbed cream after 15mn of pose.

 

Sisley - Black rose Cream Mask - 162$

My beauty routine with Bogavia

I discovered Bogavia  at Wholefoods by chance when I was looking for a good hair conditioner. After that I already had a really good opinion of their products, so it was such a pleasure when the brand sent me a box with more products to try on and see if I liked them as much. After trying and playing with all these new oils, lotions, scrubs... I quickly put together an evening routine by choosing 4 products (some I don't use everyday) that I think are really worth using. I wanted to try it for a little while before giving my review since it's better to see the effect on the skin after a longer period of time, so I can tell you all about it.

 
 
  • Nourishing Facial Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover : I put some drops in my hands and massage my face gently to take off all the dirt from pollution and/or make-up. It's pretty nice to start your evening routine massaging your face, to relax and have a little calm moment. Then I rinse with warm water and unless I had mascara on, the skin is perfectly clean. If you have mascara or a stronger eye make-up, you may want to use some cotton with a little more oil on it to work on this specific area. The advantage compared to other oils is that Bogavia's one contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids, so your face is cleaned while being nourished.
  • Exfoliating facial scrub : the instructions say you can use it 2-3 times a week but I personally only scrub my face once a week, on Sundays (it's a bit like my detox day), because I think it's enough and I don't want to be too harsh on my skin, but some people may want to do it more often. Scrubbing is important to remove dead skin and improve cell turnover. In the spirit of the brand, this scrub does its job while being gentle on the skin : I had a soft baby skin feeling after using it.
 
 
  • Midnight repair oil : as I said before, I prefer using just a few products in my routine to stay consistent and avoid spending way too much time on it, so testing out this repair oil I was wondering how often I'd use it depending on the effect it had. You can choose to use it 2 ways : as a serum or a hydrating oil. I chose to use it as a serum after the scrub, so once a week. Sometimes I'd use it more often if I feel like I need an intense moisturizer. It's a great combo after exfoliating, because this product is antioxidant rich and it deeply repairs and moisturizes the skin. It's particularly great if you have very dry skin.
  • Essential Facial Lotion : this is a hydrating lotion to use as a moisturizer. I love that this product has a matte finish so it's perfect to use after the oils without staying too shiny. It has a very light texture, but it still hydrates and firms the skin. Like the other products I selected, it's fragrance free and I like that, as it's in the spirit of the natural skin care brand. Sometimes I like when there is a real nice scent in a product, but if it's too artificial or strong it can be irritating.

To be honest I used to be a bit skeptical about oils before. I saw how many people were using simple natural oils as make up removers and I was a bit reluctant about the idea of feeling the oil on my skin a while after. I love dewy skin and I didn't chose the word "glow" for nothing, but it depends what its intensity is. After finally trying oils, I understand how gentle it is for the skin, and it makes a huge difference as sometimes I get sensitive skin after a day shooting beauty and changing make-up many times. Oils remove the make up without needing to rub the skin too much. I do have a glowing look for a while after using it, even with the matte finish lotion, but it's not the crazy oily shine. I chose to have this routine in the evenings, so I don't mind having that strong glow look. But if you like it, it's also a good way to protect your skin against pollution through the day.

About Bogavia's products, I have to say I am completely satisfied. When I talk about a product on The French Glow it's because I like it, of course, but I think it's important to be honest and also talk about the cons. But after following this routine for about a month now, I had no bad surprises or skin reactions. It's a natural brand, plant based skin care routine so everything about it seduces me ! The oils can seem a little pricey maybe, depending on what your budget is, but as you don't need to use a lot it lasts a long time. And I don't mind spending a little more for something that's good and will take care of my skin.

Nude Make-up

As you have probably already guessed, I am more into skin care than make-up. Not that I dislike make-up, but I am a huge fan of the bare-face look, and I am not that good when it comes to draw perfect lines whether it's on the lips or the eyes. So what I use daily is concealer and a little bit of eyebrow make-up. Sometimes foundation, which I use as little touches just for little red spots or rare pimples.

That said, I still sometimes love using simple make-up in a "diffused" way so it doesn't need to be perfectly done, like when I just tap my finger to apply lipstick, for example. That's why when a few weeks ago during a shoot the make-up artist Marjo-Riitta Harkonen did a beautiful nude-pink make up on me, I loved it so much that I wanted to talk about it here on The French Glow.
I asked her what products she used to reach that perfect creamy texture and colors. As many make-up artists do, Marjo-Riitta very often mixes many products to get exactly what she wants, but she did tell me the 2 key products she used on my eyes :

 
 

I personally prefer this look as it is here : no mascara to keep it subtle. I find it fresh and healthy-looking, perfect for a daily Spring time make-up. Hope you like it as much as I do !