skin care

Frank Body Lip and Face scrubs

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I wanted to try Frank Body's products for a while after seeing it everywhere on Instagram, because I read about how good coffee scrubs were, as it stimulates the boold flow and helps with collagen production, but I'm always way too lazy to keep my own coffee marc...

I finally got the chance to do so last week! Today I'll talk about their face and lip scrub and I'll tell you all about their body scrub another time!

 
 
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The lip scrub

I'm always happy when I see that the products I use are cruelty free, it's the case with Frank Body and it's getting more and more normal in cosmetics and it's a good thing :)! Coffee, and macadamia, coconut, and grapeseed oils are in it to both exfoliate and nourish your lips. And it smells SO GOOD! It's funny because I used to hate coffee, and I started drinking it only about 3 years ago. But the smell of coffee has always been a nostalgic smell to me, it reminds me of early mornings as a kid. Oh and the cool thing? It has raw sugar in it too, so you can lick it and it's delicious!

I simply moisturized my lips a little bit before using the scrub (so your skin is easier to scrub off), then rubbed my lips with it for about 30 seconds (you should feel when it's done as the grains rub more smoothly on the skin), and then rinsed and used their lip balm that is suuuuuper thick and great to use after a scrub to protect your skin against drying out. You can also use it on your cheekbones as a natural, glowing highlighter (scroll down to see how it looks), and voilà! You don't need much to have a beautiful smile ;)!

 
 
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The face scrub

It has coffee, white clay and rosehip, coconut grapeseed and sweet almond oils in it, to exfoliate, purify, and nourish with healthy fats and vitamins. Again the smell is so good, if you like the smell of coffee this is the dream face scrub!

Really easy to use! I like to pat my skin with warm water before I use a face scrub, and then you simply rub it gently in circles on your face, insisting a bit in the areas that need more exfoliation, and rinse your face with warm water again before using your face moisturizer. Interestingly, I felt that my skin was less sensitive after using this scrub.

 
 
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And here we go for my "after" pictures. I have to admit that bright light had a little bit washed out my skin texture so don't focus on that too much, but look at the glowing effect from their lip balm (I swear I had no makeup on, and I just retouched the colors which were too yellow, not the skin!).

 
 
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Liftra by Dr. Jart

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        At what age should you start anti-aging beauty products? Not everyone agrees on that, mid 20s?, late 20s?, early 30s? later than that?? And which product to start with? I'm still in my early 20s but I'm starting to think about these questions because I believe prevention is the best way to deal with anything. When I was a teenager I only used one cream (Embryolisse) and I didn't really care about other skincare products, I sometimes even went to bed without removing my makeup and woke up with a panda bear look! It's the bad side of having a naturally good skin: I was lazy. But now I realize I was born lucky and instead of taking it for granted, I should take care of my skin -I only have one after all. This is why I created The French Glow and it's also why I will tell you today about Liftra by Dr. Jart that I had the chance to try.

 

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        Liftra is a line of only 2 products and 1 tool: a contour cream, a contour fixer and a contour shaper. The contour cream is the first thing of the kit you use, after cleaning and drying your skin. You don't need to use much as it has a rich texture that stretches a lot on the skin. It has collagen and peptides that help plumping the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles while maximizing skincare penetration. The second step of the kit is to massage your skin with the contour shaper using upwards motions -from the chin to the ears, from the cheekbones to the temples and from the lower part of your neck to the earlobes (I also used it a bit on the forehead and under the eye just because of the relaxing feeling it gives me). And you finish with the fixer by simply spraying it on your face. It also has collagen and peptides as well as a hyaluronic acid complex that helps hydrating the skin with no sticky feeling.

 

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        So, what do I think about it? To be honest I didn't see a huge difference before and after using the kit BUT you have to remember that I use it for prevention (I'm only in my early 20s, therefore I don't have yet wrinkles to treat) and that even the best skin care isn't magical: no cream can really take you back in time. But I did notice a few things happening; I felt that my skin was more plumped, firm after using the contour cream, and that the little "expression marks" around the eyes and around the mouth (you know, the ones that only show some days) were softer and my skin was less feeling like "pulling". I also felt like the whole kit with the contour shaper makes you think more about how gentle you should be with your skin. Now even when I use makeup remover and other skincare products, I am careful to make the movements upward, not pulling the skin, as it has a lot to do with how your skin will age too. I also found the massages on the face and neck really relaxing. It doesn't just lift the skin it relaxes your muscles and improves blood circulation that is important for a healthy skin. The fixer feels fresh and I like that you can use it for everything, like fix your makeup, refresh your skin, finish your skincare routine... In the end, I am really satisfied with this kit, and I feel like it's a nice introduction to simple anti-aging skincare, and you can use the contour shaper forever! It's not the cheapest, but for a whole kit I think that it's really affordable compared to other very expensive creams (without tools).

 

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Dr. Jart - Trans-Foam Clay

 

As I told you I am in a Dr. Jart marathon beauty-wise at the moment: I said I'd test the products they sent me and would tell you about my favorites, so here I am writing about a unique type of clay mask: the dermaclear trans-foam clay by Dr. Jart. I always found clay masks to be a bit drying for my skin (even different types of clay) but I found these to be different than the typical clay mask. They are both clay masks that you leave on for 3-5 minutes and foam cleansers when you rinse it off. They come in 3 colors that correspond to different types of skins and effects.

 

 

The difference with classic clay masks

One of the main difference for me is that they are super easy to clean as they transform into foaming cleanser with warm water. Another difference as I said above is that they are less drying for the skin in my opinion and they dry faster (3-5mn against 10mn). You still need to moisturize after of course but I feel like they are more comfortable. In the end, they save some time and it allows you to add a mask to your morning routine without being afraid to be late.

 

Moisturizing Pink

This one is my favorite because I have a normal to dry skin, not oily at all and this is the one that is the most hydrating of the 3 masks thanks to the lotus flower extract. Even if it says moisturizing you need to hydrate your skin after, but the skin is more soft and plumped than with the others.

Calming White

This one is for sensitive skin. It contains chamomile flower extract which is meant to calm irritation. It does feel very gentle on the skin and soothing and it's nice to know there are solutions to purify a sensitive skin, as sometimes you feel like you can't even touch it. Adjust the time to how much your skin needs: I would say to use it for a shorter amount of time (maybe not wait until it completely dries) if your skin is very irritated/sensitive because even gentle products can make you feel like it's drying/irritated in that case.

Refreshing Green

If you have oily skin, this is the one that will work best for you. It purifies deeply thanks to the lemongrass extract that controls sebum. I won't lie, I don't use this one often because I don't need to reduce oil on my skin, but I'd say it's the one that makes you feel the cleanest with a refreshing feeling. Of course, use a good moisturizer afterward: I used a bit more than usual because it is logically the most drying one.

 

Overall, they all help to remove excess oil, clean pores and gently exfoliate. If you have a combination skin, you can use the green clay mask on the oily areas of your face and the pink or white one on the rest. I also found that the price is pretty good for the quality and amount you get. I tend to switch between different types of masks during the week so they will last me for a while!

 

I did wait a bit more than 3 minutes to take the pictures haha

I did wait a bit more than 3 minutes to take the pictures haha

 

 

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Rubber Masks by Dr. Jart

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I was so happy when the Korean brand Dr. Jart sent me a box of products to test as I loved every product I tried from their brand especially the Ceramidin cream and their sheet masks. So I will select and talk to you about my favorites from them in the next few weeks. I started with the rubber masks because it's one of their new products, and I am a fan of sheet masks so I was curious to see the differences between the two. The packaging is also pretty intriguing and makes you wonder how the masks actually look like.

 

What are these masks?

The Dr. Jart Rubber masks are two-step masks: you first apply the serum on your face and use the remaining serum on your neck, then you place the mask on top and leave it for 20-40mn depending on how much effect you need. The thing that I liked the most compared to sheet masks is that you get more serum as it is thicker, a bit jelly-like which makes it to me more effective. I also love the look of the masks, shiny and sleek like vinyl and they are very comfortable as the rubber masks are derived from algae and react with the calcium to give a cool effect to the skin. When you remove the masks, you will need to pat gently your skin with your hands to help absorb the serum. I have only one cons about the product: the rubber mask are a bit fragile so you have to be careful to manipulate them: I actually broke my Firm Lover one on the chin haha! But that's about it for the negative sides and I loved the results of each mask as detailed in the rest of the article.

 

Clear Skin Lover

 

All the masks are suitable for all types of skin even sensitive and dry, but this Clear Skin formula is made to fight oiliness and blemishes and purify pores. I don't have a particularly oily skin so it's hard for me to evaluate this part, but I really saw that my pores were smaller and my skin was overall clearer. I'd say this one is the mask you want to use before an event to have the most confidence and feel like your skin is clean under your makeup. I'd wait around 30mn or more after the mask before using makeup though, so the serum is completely absorbed and doesn't give a different texture to your foundation/concealer.

 

 

Firm Lover

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This Firm Lover formula is for tightening the skin and prevent lines and wrinkles. I am on my early 20s but it's actually a good thing to start preventing loss of elasticity earlier for the maximum effects. But it's also the most hydrating of the three masks I got to try, and as I have dry skin I could really see the difference: it felt really re-plumped, not pulling anymore, and it felt soft like a baby's ass. This one was my favorite from the three of them, also because I really like the light pink color of the mask ;).

 

 

Bright Lover

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This Bright Lover formula fights dullness, uneven skin tone and texture, and even the appearance of scars. Like the two other, it felt very comfortable to wear as it's cooling and hydrating. My main concern was that I tend to have a different skin tone around the mouth and I had a bit of redness due to irritation. I felt like this brightening mask improved it a lot, and also made my skin slightly less pale somehow, looking healthier. This one was the first I tried and as I am so used to sheet masks being too big for my nose you can see I folded it at first, but in the end, positioned correctly, it was just perfect!

 

 

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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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Cleansing bars by Drunk Elephant

 

I was dying to try Drunk Elephant's products because I've read so many good reviews about them and I liked the concept of the brand which is more gentle and it contains simpler ingredients than many skincare brands. Their colorful, modern and fun packaging is also so appealing to me ! I started with the Juju and Pekee bars because I wanted to change my morning/evening routine and find something that's easy to bring with me when I travel. The cleansing bars are perfect for that since they're not liquids and you can take them in your carry-on.

 

 
 

 

The Juju Bar

This one is for morning use. It detoxifies and gently exfoliates the skin as it contains clay and bamboo powder, perfect to prepare it before your creams and make-up. You know I don't like to exfoliate my face every day, but the Juju bar is gentle and doesn't feel like a strong scrub : it doesn't make my skin break out even when it's sensitive. Of course, I don't use another face scrub during the weekend when using the Juju bar as it would be too harsh and not needed. Again, it's great when you want to travel light.

The Pekee Bar

It's important to remove dirt from pollution, excess oil and impurities at night, but sometimes you want to do too well and end up having a reactive skin because of removing its natural protective layer. You need a gentle way of removing the daily impurities, and that's what the Pekee bar does ; its role is to cleanse you skin while protecting and moisturizing it. My skin feels smooth and calm afterwards. Like the Juju bar and most Drunk Elephant's products, it contains marula oil, which is both protective and healing.

 

 
 
 

You can also buy the small travel duo for 18$

 

Both bars are fragrance and soap free which is great for sensitive skin. They're really simple to use : you lather it with warm water in your hands and then massage your face, without applying the bars directly to your face. As you can see, it can't be easier than that. They are perfect for the traveler but also if you are very busy or want a minimal skin care routine. You're going to read more about Drunk Elephant on The French Glow as I am dying to try the other products from their brand !

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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 !

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

Detoxing masks

Generally, detoxing is something to do in between seasons. As the external factors are changing (weather, humidity, light), the body may react in an odd way and we can get more tired, and of course the skin reacts differently. Detox can be done eating a cleaner diet than usual (cleanses, raw diets, more super food and immune system boosters, ...) but also by using beauty products that will work directly on the skin. I love to combine both. As I just came back from Tokyo, where my skin felt tired and sensitive, and where I worked at an intense rhythm, I was glad to have these two masks to try on and cope with the lifestyle changes.

 

Glossier

Glossier - Mega Greens Galaxy Pack - 22$ (get 20% off using this link)

I feel like this mask is best when your skin feels sensitive but also a little oily - I usually don't have an oily skin but as I said, after this intense summer my skin is a little different than usual. It contains both clay and aloe to draw out oil and calm the skin. I like that it has also little grains in it so when you wash it off, after applying for about 20mn, it also gently exfoliates the dead cells, great 2-in-1 product. After washing it off, my skin was matte, super soft, and not turning red so easily anymore. The best is to follow with a very good moisturizer (like their Moisturizing Moon Mask for example) to complete the soothing and cocooning effect you want for you skin.

 

 

Bogavia

Bogavia - Detox Mineral face mask - 40$

I really like the texture of this mask, it's watery but still thick at the same time, like a gel. Also its color is almost black and it doesn't really have a scent, which makes it unique. It has more of a soothing and calming effect than a drying one, which is perfect if your skin is not oily but you still need a detox. It also contains aloe (like many of Bogavia's products actually), but also dead sea mud, which has a high concentration of minerals, ideal to regenerate and revitalize the skin while soothing it. I generally prefer to leave this one on a shorter time (about 10mn), because I don't like to feel the skin completely frozen, but it's personal (you can actually leave it on 20mn).

 

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.

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$

Skinclay masks

I actually didn't know much about clay before except that it was natural and good for your skin thanks to the minerals and nutrients it contains. I knew there were different kinds but didn't know which one was good for which type of skin and why. I also didn't really know which brands to try on. So when I stayed at Alice Cornish's place while I was in London, it was a great occasion to discover her own brand of natural clay masks : after Alice discovered the effects of green clay on her skin, she researched about all different types of clay and created her own brand Skinclay, to share the great effects.

The brand has 3 different clay masks : red clay which is better for a normal or combination skin, white clay which is for sensitive and dry skin and green clay which is recommended for oily or acneic skin.

I tried 2 of them, the red one and the white one, because I have normal skin that tends to be sensitive depending on different factors.

 

Red Clay Mask

I first tried the red clay mask, middle of May, because my skin wasn't particularly sensitive at that moment, and I simply wanted to purify it. Living in big towns, I can notice that the pollution leaves my skin dirty when I clean my face on evenings.

In the sachet, there is a little spatula that you will use to mix the powder with 3 table spoons of water (the best is mineral water). I personally think there is enough clay for at least 2 masks in a sachet, so I wouldn't pour the whole thing and save the rest for another time, but it all depends how much on you are using. Then you apply the mask on your face and wait for about 10mn before it dries completely, and rinse it.

After the mask, I could really notice that my skin was more "pure" : more even skin tone, very soft to touch, and the small imperfections were gone or smaller and the mask is very gentle on the skin.

 

White Clay Mask

I used the white clay mask while I was taking some medication, because I had some of the side effects from the medication that made my skin feel a little more sensitive and a little itchy. I felt like this mask had a cool down effect and relieved the itching. My skin was also purified and soft like after using the red clay one. I also chose to apply a moisturizing mask afterwards to rehydrate my skin. And I of course enjoyed making cute faces with my mask during the 10mn waiting. I feel that skin care should be a fun moment and it's great to do it because it's fun and not because "you have to".

 

You can "personalize" your mask

On Skinclay's blog, Alice gives examples of natural masks that you can make with simple ingredients and a Skinclay sachet. It's actually nice to remember that like clay, the healthy food that you eat contains great vitamins and minerals and can actually work on your health from the outside too, directly on your skin !

I haven't tested them yet but for example the de-puffing mask is something I would need during winter in NY : as my apartment is dry, I sometimes have a puffy face when I wake up. This one requires 1 ice cube, 3 tbsp of brewed cooled green tea and a white clay mask sachet. You simply stir everything together until the ice cube has melted and apply it like the other masks, for about 10mn.

I am not using only natural brands, and I like trying different kind of cosmetics and skincare products, but I have to say that sometimes going simple is often a win, especially if you have a sensitive skin.

With Skinclay, the process to mix your mask yourself is also pretty fun, and it allows the product to be preservative and chemical free. I also like the fact that this brand is the result of the experience of a model ; I'm not saying all models are pros in skin care domain, but I tend to trust girls who find solutions to keep their skin healthy despite all the make up they have to put on.