Years ago I committed to wearing as little makeup as possible and with that came an obsession with great beauty products. I do think beauty starts from within, how you feel about yourself, the joy you have inside you, your confidence. Then let’s be really honest, what you eat and drink and your genetics play a large role. When I take a break from alcohol my skin just becomes instantly more glowy. The rest is just making the best with what you’ve got. These are the beauty products I swear by after years of trying everything from fancy expensive miracle creams, to french beauty brands, all natural remedies, beauty press trips, and getting the real dirt from beauty editors who know all. This is what I buy… and sometimes cry when I run out of.
The Face Products I swear by
Vintner’s Daughter – I think of this as taking your daily vitimens for your face. Made from the world’s most nutrient rich botanicals and essential oils it’s a face serum / oil that leaves you healthy, glowy and not like an oil slick. I found the scent to be quite strong, just FYI, but in a good floral way.
Crème de la Mer – La Mer’s classic moisturizing cream has a cult following for a reason. I have very sensitive skin, very rosey cheeks, and this is the absolute best for balancing my face. A little goes a long way, it’s very thick and creamy, so one jar will last a while which is good because the price tag is brutal. But like my mother always said, it’s cheaper than plastic surgery.
Binu Binu Hibiscus Cleansing Balm– I actually use this specifically for removing eye makeup. It’s so soft and nourishing it is better than any dedicated makeup remover I’ve ever tried and make from natural goodness!
Shiva Rose Pearl Milk Cleanser– I love oil based cleansers after years of stripping my skin and agitating it. Why I’m loyal to Shiva’s is because of the subtile natural exfoliant which I like to think are just millions of tiny pearls. This cleanser leaves your face feeling softened and hydrated after washing.
Algenist Algae Brightening Mask– I do face masks a few times a week and always on Sunday, this mask is hands down my favorite. I’ve been a fan for years now, leaves my skin balanced and glowy.
May Lindstrom Botanical Facial Mist– A pure luxury item but I think of this as therapy in a bottle. When I spray this jasmine garden mist on my face every morning and evening I am instantly transported to a magical garden, I call it my Monet’s Garden spray, and it really, truly makes me feel joy and inspiration every time in my soul.
French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish– I keep this little jar in the shower and use it every time to scrub my lips into plump softness. Smells SO good.
Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner- Another product I’ve bought time and time again because it is both a lip conditioner and has a very subtle natural pink hue I like to just wear as lip stick too.
I am always trying new products for example, I love the oils from Buly 1803 but not loyal yet to one particular variety. I always try something new each time I visit their shop in Paris. I also try different facial mists that I apply repeatedly throughout the day in summer and winter to stay hydrated. Since it’s for maintenance, it does not need to be as luxurious as May’s. The one I use most often is Mario Badescu facial spray and at a whopping $7 the price is right for mass consumption.
The makeup kit for a minimalist
Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere- An anti-aging face illuminator I SWEAR by. I only use it on the bridge of my nose, cheek bones, bow of up lip but that’s how I get those crazy highlights in my #ProvenceSelfPortraitSeries on my face.
Bronzer- I actually use Tata Harper‘s Very Bronzing Contour which I LOVE but they are not going to make it anymore and so I can’t link and I’m spiraling into despair of it. I need a good natural, creamy recommendation!
Chantecaille Faux Clis Mascara– From the description it sounds like whoa but it’s actually the most lovely, natural, elongating but light mascara I’ve ever tried and it smells like roses so… duh. I think I’m going on 3 years exclusive with this.
Olio E Osso No. 3 Crimson– For my cheeks and lips! Natural, easy, two for one and lasts forever. This is the color closest to my natural cheek blush tone, goes on light.
Lips- I have been wearing this duo for years, I can’t count how many times I’ve had to reply on instagram what my lipstick is. I start with a base of NARS Cruella which is thick and matte then give a top swipe of MAC Lady Danger which is a really bright orangey red but layered over the deeper NARS base makes a nice classic warm tone.
Concealer / foundation- I don’t cover my face in foundation but if I’m really going for a polished put together look I’ll do a little bit of very light coverage under my eyes, on any redness I might have at that moment. I’m currently using Clarins BB Skin Detox Fluid but I’m not particularly loyal to it. It’s just light and easy.
I also use an eyebrow pencil but i’m not particular about a brand or style yet. I just buy whatever whenever I run out until I find something life changing. I’m currently using one by Laura Mercier.
The hair strategy
I say strategy because I think the success of my hair has more to do with my technique than products. First of all, I do not use styling products. I use a shampoo and conditioner and then a dry shampoo in-between washings.
As far as products I’m currently using System Professional personalized haircare after an amazing detailed hair analysis experience. It is a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. For dry shampoo I am using Furterer which has been great. I just found it at my local French pharmacy. I’ve also used Dry Bar’s dry shampoo many times. This is what I want to try next when I am back stateside.
I wash my hair once, sometimes twice a week. I like to keep a natural balance of my own oils, I like having messy dirty french hair. When I do wash it I let it airdry. Heat is the enemy for healthy hair. Considering I am growing out my hair for my portrait series, it’s about to my belly button, this has been a big game changer in keeping it healthy. I mean, I do miss a good blow out. For those of you who have followed me since my New York days, you know what I mean.
Sylvain le Hen hair pin– This has replaced all other hair tools for me. I use this every single day and even sleep with my hair pinned up with it. After I clean my hair and it’s about dry I’ll wrap it into a low bun and pin it with this. When I wake up the next morning I have soft natural waves. This is also what I use to pin my hair back when I’m working and for chic buns, it’s just the best!
Once a week I will curl my hair using a 1inch ceramic curling iron to make waves ( like this with fresh clean hair, like this with week old dirty hair). I have been using the same one for over a decade! I got it when I was an assistant to the photo editor of a fashion magazine straight out of college and the beauty department had one of their “cleaning out the closet sales” for the editors. The logo has been worn off but it’s seriously the best and I would die if I lost it. I only have to curl it once a week because during the day when I’m working and overnight when I’m sleeping I twirl my hair into a low bun and it maintains the curl this way.
For the Body
Buly 1803 dry body oil in Damask Rose – As many of you know I am OBSESSED with this product. I use it everyday, sometimes twice a day, and always, always, always to get that highlight in my self portraits. I love it so much I bought three last time I was in Paris to be sure not to run out before my next trip.
Montale Deep Rose– I currently have six different brands of rose perfume in my vanity! I find one, I buy it, I try it for a few weeks before I make a decision. However, the best rose scent in the world in my opinion is by Montale. Made in Grasse, France it is powerful and true. It’s better for a city scent because it’s strong enough, I actually wear something else in Provence more subtle but this has been my go to for years and will continue to be my favorite scent in the world for roses. The brand actually has many rose scented perfumes with subtle differences so it’s worth a visit to their shop in Paris. *NOTE, I hate with a passion the bottle design, it’s so insulting to the scenes and does not at all match the loveliness of what’s inside which is why I never instagram it sadly. So just look past that.
Rose de Damas Buly 1803 Perfume– This is my Provence scent. It’s a water-based perfume so you can wear it in your hair, on your clothes and skin without worry of drying them out or stains. It’s a softer, more powered rose scent and is incredibly sensual.
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